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A. 1. Ethnography and Condition of South Africa before 

A.D. 1505 (this takes the place of a volume entitled 
"The Yellow and Dark-Skinned People of Africa 
South of the Zambesi). 

B. 2, 3, 4. History of South Africa from 1505 to 1795, in three 

volumes, viz. : — 
Vol. I. The Portuguese in South Africa. Fourth 

Vol. II. \ The Administration of the Dutch East India 

Vol. III. Third Edition, a few copies still on hand. 

C. 5, 3, 7, 8, 9. History of South Africa from 1795 to 1872, in five 

volumes, viz. : — 
Vols. I. II. and III. Fourth Edition. 
Vol. IV. Revised Edition, ready shortly. 
Vol. V. With Synoptical Index, in the press. 

L>. 10, 11. History of South Africa from 187S to 188+. Twelve 

Eventful Years. In two volumes. 


FROM 1873 TO 1884 











( Vol. X of the Series) 



First published in igig 

(All rights reserved) 


These are the first volumes prepared by me that overlap th e 
work of another author. Count Wilmot's History of Our 
Own Times in South Africa, 1872-1898, in three volumes, 
was published in 1897-1899, and I certainly would not 
have trespassed upon that period if it had not been that 
the work alluded to has for some years been out of print, 
with very little or no prospect of its being reissued. I 
communicated with the honourable gentleman, its author, 
who in the kindest possible manner replied that he had 
no objection whatever to my continuing my work, and 
therefore I took in hand the volumes now before the reader. 
As he was in this field before me, my warmest thanks are 
due to him for his courtesy in this matter. 

Wynberg, Cape Province. 
January 1919. 




Condition of South Africa in 1873 — European inhabitants of the 
different colonies and states — Bantu military tribes at that 
time — Transactions of the Cape parliament in 1873 — Creation 
of the university of the Cape of Good Hope — State-aided 
immigration from Europe — Purchase of the existing lines 
of railway and telegraph by the government — Particulars of 
the steamship^ mail service between England and South 
Africa — Particulars concerning inland mails — Opening of 
Southey's pass to traffic — Changes in the ministry — Efforts 
to introduce silk culture — Dissolution of both houses of 
parliament — Meeting of the new parliament — Passing of 
the seven circles act — Formation of new magisterial districts 
— Transactions of the Cape parliament in 1874 — Great advance 
in the construction of railroads — Opening of the Huguenot 
seminary at Wellington — Extension of ostrich farming — 
Ravages of the dorthesia and of the phylloxera — Account of 
great floods in December 1874 — Damage caused in December 
1875 to the village of Heidelberg by the rising of the Doom 
river — Decline of cotton growing in the eastern districts — 
Population according to the census of March 1875 — Efforts of 
Lord Carnarvon to promote confederation — Tours of Mr. James 
Anthony Froude through South Africa — Transactions during 
a special session of the Cape parliament — Settlement of the 
dispute between the British government and the Orange Free 
State concerning the ownership of the diamond fields — Par- 
ticulars of some disastrous fires . . . 



Immigration of agriculturists from Northern Germany and their 
settlement on the Cape flats — Construction of harbour works 

v jij Contents. 


—Cause of unrest on the eastern frontier— Expan sion of 
the Bantu— Condition of the Xosas — Manner of death of 
Makoma— Report of the frontier defence commission— 
jteftka by the parliament of its recommendations— Condi- 
tion in 1873 of the territory between the river Kei and 
Natal— War between the Galekas and the Tembus— Com- 
mencement of the exercise of authority in the territory beyond 
the Kei by the Cape government— Reception of the Pondomsi 
is under Umhlonhlo and Umditshwa as British subjects 
—Action of Mr. Orpen in regard to the rebellion of Lan- 
galibalele — His dealings with Umhlonhlo and Umditshwa — 
Assumption of authority over the Griquas under Adam 
Kok— Particulars regarding the Griqua territory — Trouble 
caused by Nehemiah Moshesh — Annexation of the district of 
Mount Frere to the British dominions — Rebellion of some 
of the Griquas — Conduct of the Pondos — Suppression of the 
(iriqua rebellion— Formation of the chief magistracy of 
(iriqualand East— Annexation of Griqualand East to the 
Cape Colony — Also of part of the chief magistracy of Trans- 
kei— Conduct of the Tembu chief Gangelizwe — Cession of 
Tembuland Proper to the Cape government — Retirement of 
Sir Henry Barkly and assumption of duty as governor of 
the Cape Colony and high commissioner by Sir Bartle Frere 
— Opening > of an international exhibition in Capetown — 
Progress in the construction of railroads and telegraphs — 

ition of state-aided immigration . . . .25 



of the Xosa tribe in 1877— Event at a Fingo wedding 

vst that brings on war with the Galekas — Fruitless efforts 

to restore peace — Arrivals and departures of British troops 

Visit of Sir Bartle Frere to Butterworth— Fruitless 

efforts of the governor to obtain an interview with Kreli 

— Di-pjirturo of the missionaries and traders from Galeka- 

ioii of Mapasa from the Galeka cause and his 

rtion of his clan to the Cape Colony — 

I»«f. v, of the police and the Fingos at Gwadana — Defeat of 

* c « witli heavy loss at Ibeka— Arrival of strong 

polio* ;ind volunteers at Ibeka — Prudent 

0011 ngeliz we— Proclamation of Sir Bartle Frere 

** e l I'h BOO being i chief — Arrangements for carry- 

Contents. ix 


ing on the war — Destruction of the kraals of Kreli, Sigcawu, 
and others — Overtures for peace made by Kreli — Scouring 
of the Galeka country — Defeat of the enemy at Lusizi — 
Retirement of the whole Galeka people under Kreli over 
the Bashee — Their pursuit to Western Pondoland by 
Colonel Griffith — Return of the colonial forces to Ibeka and 
their disbandment — Proposed arrangements for the settle- 
ment of the territory recently occupied by the Galekas . 52 



THE NINTH KAFFIR WAR {continued). 

General fear of a rebellion of the Rarabe clans — Flight of the 
Ndlambe chief Mackinnon into the Gaika location — Success- 
ful mission of 'Mr. W. B. Chalmers — Return of the Galeka 
warriors after their families have been placed in safety — 
Successful encounters with the enemy at Umzintsani — 
Measures adopted to obtain a field force — Removal of all 
the troops in Capetown to the eastern frontier — Employ- 
ment of a naval brigade — Supersession of Colonel Griffith 
by Colonel Glynn as commander of the forces east of the 
Kei — Fruitless negotiations for i peace — Appeal by Kiva to 
the Rarabe clans to aid the Galekas — Attitude of the old 
counsellor Tyala — Rebellion of the great majority of the 
Rarabes — Enrolment of Pulleine's rangers and Carrington's 
horse — Murder of Messrs. Tainton and Brown — Raids into 
Fingoland — Engagement near Kentani Hill — Enlargement 
of the area of disturbances — Defection of Dukwana — Murder 
of old Jacobus Vanderkemp — Participation of some Tembu 
clans in the strife — Arrival of volunteers and burghers on 
the frontier — Sweeping of the Gaika location by Commandant 
Frost— And of the Tshetshaba valley by Colonel Lambert 
— Expedition against Gongubela — Second and successful 
expedition against that chief — Decisive victory at Kentani 
on the 7th of February 1878 — Abandonment of the contest 
by Kreli and end of the war with the death of Kiva . 74 



Change of ministry in the Cape Colony — Altered condition of 
things caused by the rebellion of the Rarabe clans — Wide- 



spread disaffection of the Bantu in South Africa— Arrival of 
two more battalions of British troops — Differences between 
the views of the governor and the prime minister as to 
military operations— Opinion of Attorney-General Stocken- 
ii— Abrupt dismissal of the ministry by the governor — 
Acceptance of office as prime minister by Mr. John Gordon 
Sprigg — Names of the members of the new ministry — Opinion 
of the secretary of state for the colonies as to the matter 
in dispute — Return of the governor to Capetown — Opening of 
parliament on the 10th of May — Important measures 
introduced — Particulars of the debate upon the dismissal 
of the late ministry — Approval by parliament of the action 
of the governor — Adoption of a series of acts for establish- 
ing a strong defensive force on the eastern frontier — Imposi- 
tion of an excise duty on spirits distilled in the Cape 
Colony — Particulars of the house duty act — Particulars 
concerning the peace preservation or disarmament act of 
1878 ......... 97 



Occupation of the Thomas river valley by Sandile's Gaikas — 

Defeat of a Gaika army under Matanzima — Attitude of Tini, 

son of Makoma, in the Waterkloof — Occupation of the 

lerkloof by the ninetieth regiment and some volunteers 

— Flight of Tini and his people to the Amatola forests — 

ant of General Cunynghame and succession of 

Thesiger to the command of the troops in South 

kfcions against Sandile in the Thomas river 

valley and afterwards in the Amatola forests — Treatment of 

the Kaffir women and children made prisoners during the 

rebellion Crushing defeat of Stokwe, son of Tshali— 

Accession to the rebel forces • of Delima, son of Pato, Jali, 

of Uinkayi, and Siyolo, son of Dushane — Defeat of 

rftfa heavy loss— Continued operations in the Amatola 

for ' > of Jali in battle— Capture of the Tembu 

'iongubela, Stokwe, and Umfanta— New plan of 

bhi rebels— Capture of Tini— Death of 

ballet wound— Death of Siyolo- Surrender 

DM and Ndimbi Capture of Matanzima and Gonya 

upprcssion of the rebellion— Cost of the war and 

It of the Christian Bantu —Settlement of 

Contents. xi 


the conquered Bantu — Formation of the chief magistracy 
of Transkei — Annexation of the districts of Kentani and 
Willowvale to the Cape Colony — Population, revenue, and 
expenditure of the chief magistracy of Transkei in 1885 . 118 



roceedings with regard to Emigrant Tembuland — Formation 
of the chief magistracy of Tembuland — Account of the 
Bomvanas — Offer of the chief Moni to become a British 
subject — Incorporation of Bomvanaland in the British 
dominions — Its inclusion in the chief magistracy of Tembu- 
land — Account of the rebellion in 1880 in Tembuland — Com- 
plete subjugation of the clans under Dalasile, Gecelo, and 
Stokwe, son of Ndlela — Settlement of the territory recently 
occupied by these chiefs — Growing importance of the town 
of Umtata — Annexation of the chief magistracy of Tembu- 
land to the Cape Colony — Population of Tembuland in 1885 
— Death of Gangelizwe — Good conduct of the Fingos — 
Regulations in force beyond the Kei — Account of the local 
Fingo council — Establishment of a hospital at Butterworth 
— Indications of trouble in Griqualand East in 1880 — Rebellion 
of many clans — Treacherous murder of three officials by 
the Pondomsi clan under Umhlonhlo — Refuge afforded by 
the prison at Tsolo — Enumeration of the various contingents 
engaged on the colonial side — Retreat of the Basuto across 
the Drakensberg — Stamping out of the rebellion — Subsequent 
career of Umhlonhlo — Imprisonment of Umditshwa — Settle- 
ment of the four rebel districts of Maclear, Matatiele, 
Qumbu, and Tsolo — Addition of the district of Mount Ayliff 
to the chief magistracy of Griqualand East — Account of 
the quarrel between the Pondos and the Xesibes — Descrip- 
tion of Kokstad — Population of Griqualand East in 1885 . 143 



Comparative unprogressiveness of the Pondo tribe — Unreliability 
of Bantu traditions — Origin of the Pondo, Tembu, and Xosa 
tribes — Condition of the Pondo tribe — Importance of the 

xii Contents. 


mouth of the Umzimvubu river, called Port Saint John's, 
to the Cape Colony— Position of Ndamasi with regard to 
his half-brother Umqikela— Death of Ndamasi and succession 
of his son Nquiliso— Sale by Nquiliso to the Cape govern- 
ment of a slip of land at the mouth of the Umzimvubu— 
Occupation of Port Saint John's by a company of soldiers 
—Proclamation of Sir Bartle Frere regarding Umqikela— 
ion of Port Saint John's to the Cape Colony— 
ilation of Port Saint John's in 1884— Action of Umqikela 
with regard to the main road through the Rode— Extensive 
ie-lifting by the eastern Pondos from the Bacas and 
the Xesibes— Internal strife in Eastern Pondoland — Procla- 
mation of a protectorate of the coast of Pondoland by Great 
Britain— Ludicrous attempt by the eastern Pondos to open 
a port for trade — Continuation of strife between the eastern 
1 ondos and the clans received as British subjects— Friendly 
dealings with Nquiliso — Position of the Amatshezi chief 
Pali — Dealings with Pali— Treatment of the Hlubi headman 
William Nota by the eastern Pondos — Disorder on the 
tern Pondo frontier — Statistics of schools in the country 
between the river Kei and Natal .... 173 



Continuation of raids and skirmishes along the eastern Pondo 

border — Battle between the Amanci and the Xesibes in 

which over a hundred men are killed — Action of the Kokstad 

Political Association — Resolution of the legislative council 

of Natal favouring the annexation of Pondoland to that 

colony — View of the secretary of state for the colonies — 

turn of cattle thefts during two years — Invasion of the 

ibe country by a large Pondo army — Collection of a strong 

EotOC to protect the Xesibes — Demand upon Umqikela for 

♦ xplanation of his conduct and reparation— Offers of assist- 

the Pondos from Dalindyebo, Kreli, and others 

—Denial of personal responsibility by Umqikela for what 

had occurred — Arrangement for a conference — Satisfactory 

iltH of the eonference on the 7th and 8th of December 

1H80— Death of Umqikela — Election of his son Sigcawu as 

ondition of anarchy in Eastern Pondoland 

— Htate of affairs in Western Pondoland — Intrigues of 

Umhluii^iiHo with some German adventurers — Rebellion of 

Contents. xiii 


Umhlangaso against Sigcawu — Cession of both Western and 
Eastern Pondoland to the Cape government — Division of 
Western Pondoland into two districts named Libode and 
Ngcaleni — Population of Western Pondoland in 1894 — Sub- 
mission of Umhlangaso — Division of Eastern Pondoland into 
three districts named Umsikaba, Tabankulu, and Bizana — 
Population of Eastern Pondoland in 1894— Population of the 
whole territory between the Kei and Natal in 1904 . . 199 



Lists of heads of the government — Want of European immigrants 
— Enlargement of the legislative council — Extension of the 
line of telegraph — Condition of the Bantu in Natal — Differ- 
ence between the policy pursued towards these people in 
Natal and in the Cape Colony — Imprudent marriage law of 
Natal — Account of the Hlubi chief Langalibalele— Events 
that led to his flight from Natal — Shooting of volunteers at 
the top of the Drakensberg — Pursuit of Langalibalele by 
forces from different directions — Dispersion of the Amangwe 
clan and seizure of its cattle — Capture of Langalibalele in 
Basutoland — His trial before a special court and sentence 
to confinement and banishment for life — His imprisonment 
on Eobben Island — Action of the secretary of state for the 
colonies — Removal of Langalibalele to a small farm in the 
Cape peninsula — Arrival of Sir Garnet Wolseley as adminis- 
trator — Resolution of the legislative council in 1874 in 
favour of responsible government — Great change in 1875 in 
the opposite direction — Improvements in the method of 
dealing with the Bantu — Particulars of Mr. Welborne's rail- 
way scheme— Public debt of Natal— Population of Natal in 
1878 — Construction of railroads by the government — Con- 
struction of harbour works at Port Natal — State-aided system 
of obtaining settlers from Great Britain . . . 224 



Redemption of the paper currency by means of a loan in gold 
from the Cape Commercial bank — Opening of the Lydenburg 

x jv Contents. 


alluvial goldfields— Arrangements for maintaining order there 
—Naming of Macmac and Pilgrim's Rest— Coinage of gold 
money by President Burgers— Alteration in the executive 
council— Effect of the Keate award upon the Betshuana and 
Korana clans cut off from the South African Republic by it 
—Account of the case of Matthew Smith— Particulars con- 
cerning President Burgers' scheme of a railway from the 
republic to Delagoa Bay— Visit of the president to Europe 
to borrow money for the purpose — His failure to obtain the 
full amount needed— Account of the Bapedi tribe— Rebellion 
of the Bapedi tribe under the chief Sekukuni against the 
South African Republic — Factions in the republic — Attack by 
the rebels upon a lager at Kruger's Post — Emigration of 
farmers from the South African Republic to Mossamedes — 
March of a strong commando against Sekukuni — Occupation 
of Mathebi's Kop — Storming of the stronghold of Johannes 
— Failure of the attempt to take Sekukuni' s mountain, and 
retreat of the commando— Account of the volunteers under 
Conrad von Schlickmann and Alfred Aylward — Submission 
of Sekukuni — Action of Lord Carnarvon and Sir Henry 
Barkly — Mission of Sir Theophilus Shepstone — Account of 
the Swazi marauder Umbelini — Proceedings of the special 
commissioner — Issue of a proclamation by him annexing the 
Transvaal territory to the British dominions . . . 248 



General feeling in South Africa regarding the annexation of the 

Transvaal to the British dominions — Resolution of the 

volksraad of the Orange Free State concerning it— Mission 

of Messrs. Kruger and Jorissen to England— Refusal of Lord 

Carnarvon to restore the independence of the Transvaal — 

Further dealing! of Lord Carnarvon with the delegates — 

Financial condition of the Transvaal — Arrangement of the 

public accounts by Mr. W. C. Sergeaunt— Appointment of 

v heads of departments — Dealings with Sekukuni— Renewal 

of hostilities by that chief — Progress of the operations 

against hi m— Assumption of the chief military command in 

Transvaal by Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Rowlands — Un- 

Bucceasful attempt to take Sekukuni's stronghold— Disappoint- 

Ol the burghers with Lord Carnarvon's refusal to 

:m<ii independence — Preparation of a memorial against 

Contents. xv 


British rule — Despatch of Messrs. Kruger and Joubert to 
England 'with the memorial — Proceedings of these gentlemen 
in London — Eefusal of Sir Michael Hicks Beach to withdraw 
the annexation proclamation — Return of Messrs. Kruger and 
Joubert to Pretoria — Hostile attitude of Ketshwayo — Fruit- 
less negotiations with that chief — Appointment of a com- 
mission to take evidence and report upon the disputed 
boundary — Account of the Hanoverian and Norwegian 
missions — Outrage perpetrated by Zulus on Natal territory — 
Other acts of offence of Ketshwayo — Arrival of reinforcements 
of soldiers — Gloomy condition of the Transvaal . . 275 



Different opinions regarding the justice of the war with the Zulus 
— References to various books on the subject — Particulars 
concerning Ketshwayo — Particulars concerning the disputed 
boundary commission's report — Arrival of Sir Bartle Frere in 
Natal — Military measures for the defence of the colony — 
Delivery to Zulu delegates of an award regarding the boundary 
and of an ultimatum concerning other matters — Under- 
estimate of the Zulu military power — Abandonment of the 
Zulu cause by John Dunn — Plan of operations adopted by 
Lord Chelmsford — Advance into Zululand of the column 
under Lieutenant- Colonel Pearson — Notification to jjj^, Zulu 
people — Burning of the military kraal Ginginhlovu — Defeat 
of the Zulus at Inyezane — Occupation of the Norwegian 
mission station Etshowe — Entry into Zululand of a column 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Glynn, and accompanied by Lord 
Chelmsford and his staff — Destruction of Sirayo's kraal and 
capture of his cattle — Halt of the column at Isandhlwana 
hill — Despatch from Ulundi of a strong Zulu army to oppose 
it — Division of the British force by detachments going on 
ahead — Destruction of almost the entire force left in the 
camp at Isandhlwana — Retreat of Lord Chelmsford with the 
advance parties — Bivouac that night among the dead at 
Isandhlwana — Arrival of the retreating party in Natal — 
Description of the post at Rorke's drift — Gallant defence of 
the post against a large Zulu army — Defection of many of 
the Bantu auxiliaries — Measures of defence of Natal — 
Interment of the dead at Isandhlwana .... 298 

xvi Contents. 


THE ZULU WAE (continued). 

Cessation for a time of operations from Natal— Composition of 
oolnmo under Lieutenant- Colonel Evelyn Wood— Advance 
of this column from Utrecht to Bemba's Kop in the lately 
disputed territory— Repulse of a Zulu attacking force— Occu- 
pation by this column of Kambula hill on the old hunting 
road— Destruction of the Qulusi military kraal— Raising of 
volunteer corps by Commandant Schermbrucker and Colonel 
Weatherley— Defection of Ketshwayo's brother Hamu from 
the Zulu cause — Atrocious conduct of Umbelini — Disaster at 
the Intombi river, in which sixty-three Europeans lose their 
lives— Still greater disaster at Ndhlobane mountain, when 
ninety-five Europeans are killed — Repulse with heavy loss of 
a great Zulu army that attacks the camp at Kambula — Death 
of the marauder Umbelini — Arrival in Natal of troops from 
the Cape Colony, Saint Helena, and Mauritius, and landing 
of a naval brigade from her Majesty's ship Shah — Arrival of 
very large reinforcements from England — Relief of Etshowe 
— Construction of Fort Chelmsford — Arrangements for resum- 
ing the offensive — Death of Louis Napoleon, once prince 
imperial of France — Advance towards Ulundi of the divisions 
under Major- General Newdigatje and Brigadier-General Wood, 
and their junction near their destination — Number of British 
troops in South Africa — Appointment of Sir Garnet Wolseley 
to the supreme command — His movements after arrival — 
• at of the Zulus at Ulundi by the army under Lord 
Chelmsford, and end of the war— Capture of Ketshwayo 
and his imprisonment in Capetown — Great reduction of the 
forces in the field — Division of Zululand into thirteen inde- 
pendent districts— Selection of chiefs over these districts . 324 



AND NATAL Facing p. 222 


FROM 1873 TO 1884. 


The modern history of South Africa may with good 
reason be regarded as commencing with the year 1873. 
The Cape Colony, the most important section of the 
country, then entered upon a career of progress un- 
dreamt of before the era of self-rule. Previous to 1873 
the industries of the entire land were almost entirely 
agricultural and pastoral, for gold mining was carried on 
only in a very small way at the Tati and Eersteling, 
copper mining was confined to the secluded district of 
Namaqualand, and diamond digging consisted of nothing 
more than excavating holes from the surface of the 
ground. There were poor people, it is true, but the 
European inhabitants were very much nearer on an 
equality than in any state of Western Europe, and there 
were no white mendicants on one side and enormously 
wealthy capitalists on the other. The richest man in 
the country did not possess a quarter of a million 
pounds sterling. The general aspect was thus altogether 
different from what it is to-day, for the old dull, easy- 
going, happy condition of life has given place to the 
struggling anxious existence that is everywhere in 
evidence now. In short, we have been brought under 
the law that impels Europeans to struggle for knowledge 
and power, and have fallen into line with the most 
energetic communities of our race. 

2 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 73 

There have been many wars and droughts and dis- 
asters of various kinds in South Africa since 1873, yet 
the country has advanced with rapid strides in popu- 
lation, in commerce, and in many other respects. The 
Europeans were then only about 325,000 in number, 
namely in the Cape Colony 235,000, in the South 
African Eepublic 35,000, in the Orange Free State 
27,000, in Natal 18,000, in Griqualand West 9,000, and 
scattered over territory occupied by independent Bantu 
tribes 1,000. The only railways, exclusive of the one 
in Namaqualand belonging to the Cape Copper Mining 
Company which was constructed and used solely for the 
purpose of transporting ore through the desert to Port 
Nolloth, were a line from Capetown through Stellen- 
bosch and the Paarl to Wellington with a branch from 
Salt Kiver to Wynberg in the Cape Colony, and one 
from the Point to Durban and on to the Umgeni in 
Natal, only about eleven kilometres or seven English 
miles in length. On the other hand the whole public 
debt of the colonies and republics combined did not 
exceed £1,750,000. 

Of the great Bantu military tribes that sprang into 
existence during the wars of Tshaka, only the Makololo 
had disappeared. The Zulus under Ketshwayo, the 
Matshangana under Umzila, and the Matabele under 
Lobengula were still threatening the peace of wide 
sections of the country and keeping their neighbours in 
a constant state of unrest. The various tribes between 
the rivers Kei and Umzimkulu, living under independent 
chiefs, were almost perpetually quarrelling with each 
other, and were far less subject to missionary and 
civilising influence than they have since become. 

To those living uninterruptedly in the country the 
rapid change in its condition has not been so apparent 
as to those who have gone abroad for a few years and 
then returned ; such persons often found themselves in 
a new and strange environment. 

1873] Sir Henry Barkly. 3 

On the 24th of April 1873 the parliament of the Cape 
Colony met in Capetown, and as the ministry had taken 
care to have all the important bills to be introduced 
published in ample time to be studied carefully, there 
was no delay in proceeding to business. Provision was 
made for the preliminary work of construction of several 
lines of railroad and telegraphs, particularly for the 
survey of routes, that everything might be in readiness 
for final decision in the following year. Harbour im- 
provements were also resolved upon, and a subsidy of 
£10,000 a year for ten years was promised to a com- 
pany that undertook to lay down and keep in working 
order a submarine cable from the colony to Aden via 
Natal, Mauritius, and Zanzibar. This came to nothing, 
however, as the company failed to carry out its agree- 
ment. A bill for the amendment of the constitution by 
dividing the colony into seven circles instead of two 
provinces for the purpose of electing members of the 
legislative council was carried by a large majority in the 
house of assembly, but was thrown out by the casting 
vote of the president in the council. A voluntary bill, 
or bill to cease paying the salaries of clergymen by the 
government, was also passed by the assembly, but thrown 
out by the council. On the 26th of June parliament 
was prorogued, after the shortest session on record, but 
one in which much useful work was done. 

One act of this session must be more particularly re- 
ferred to. This was the creation of the university of 
the Cape of Good Hope, to supersede the old board of 
examiners. It was based upon the model of the London 
university, and was purely an examining body, with 
power to confer degrees. The first council consisted of 
Sir Sydney Smith Bell, chief justice of the Cape Colony, 
the reverend John Brebner, M.A., professor of classics, 
Gill college, the reverend James Cameron, B.A., LL.D., 
professor of classics, South African college, Langham 
Dale, B.A., LL.D., superintendent-general of education, 

4 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 73 

the honourable John Henry de Villiers, attorney-general, 
Henry Anderson Ebden, M.D., president of the colonial 
medical committee, Charles Bletterman Elliott, holder of 
a first-class certificate in literature and science, the 
reverend Philip Eduard Eaure, D.D., moderator of the 
synod of the Dutch reformed church, the venerable 
Peter Parry Fogg, M.A., archdeacon of George, Francis 
Guthrie, B.A., LL.B., professor of mathematics, Graaff- 
Keinet college, Johannes Zacharias Herman, M.D., the 
reverend William Impey, general superintendent of 
Wesleyan missions, the reverend Edward Judge, M.A., 
colonial chaplain, the reverend John Murray, professor of 
the theological seminary, Stellenbosch, the reverend 
George Ogilvie, M.A., principal of the diocesan college, 
"William Porter, M.L.A., late attorney-general, the honour- 
able {Charles Abercrombie Smith, M.A., commissioner of 
crown lands and public works, the reverend David Smith, 
M.A., Peter Gordon Stewart, M.D., and Edward James 
Stone, M.A., astronomer royal. 

The first meeting of the council took place on the 1st 
of September 1873, when Dr. Dale was elected vice 
chancellor and Mr. Cameron registrar. It was provided 
that as soon as the members of convocation should reach 
one hundred a chancellor should be elected. This con- 
dition was fulfilled in February 1876, when Mr. William 
Porter, the former attorney-general of the Cape Colony, 
whose name was one of the most respected in South 
Africa, was unanimously chosen to fill the position of 
honour. Mr. Porter was then residing in Ireland. 

On the 8th of August 1877 her Majesty Queen 
Victoria was pleased, at the instance of Lord Carnarvon, 
who was then secretary of state for the colonies, to 
confer a royal charter on the university, thereby giving 
its degrees a status equal to those of any other in the 

To obtain the mechanics and labourers needed for con- 
structing the railways and other public works in contem- 

l8 73] Sir Henry Barkly. 5 

plation, the reverend Thomas E. Fuller (later Sir 
Thomas) was sent as emigration agent to England. It 
was intended to employ Bantu to do the roughest of 
the work with the pick and wheelbarrow, but even for 
this European navvies were largely needed. It was also 
intended to assist private individuals who would guarantee 
fixed employment at stated wages, by engaging and 
sending out the men applied for, upon their depositing 
with the commissioner for crown lands and public works 
i>7 towards the cost of passage of each statute adult. 
On the 3rd of November 1873 the first party of 
mechanics engaged by Mr. Fuller in England arrived. 
It consisted of thirty-seven men and twenty-eight 
women and children. This disproportion of the sexes 
was even more marked in parties that arrived at a later 
date, and it cannot be said that these immigrants added 
materially to the permanent European population of 
South Africa. 

Within two years, or before the close of 1875, Mr. 
Fuller sent out 2,629 men, 230 women, and 260 children. 
A sufficient number of navvies could not be obtained in 
Great Britain, so several hundreds were engaged in 
Belgium and Germany. The proceeds of land sales in the 
colony were set apart to cover the cost of sending these 
people out. Most of them gave satisfaction by working 
well and behaving in an orderly manner, but a few 
caused much trouble by riotous conduct and going on 
strike. They had been accustomed to work in countries 
where house accommodation could always be had and 
where beer was obtainable without difficulty, and they 
objected to living in tents far away from the nearest 
habitations and having only coffee or tea to drink. 
These men managed to obtain Cape brandy, which they 
used to excess, so that it was often a relief when they 
absconded. But one of the grievances they put forward 
would certainly be regarded as well founded to-day : it 
was that they were required to work longer than fifty- 

6 History of the Cape Colony. t l8 73 

two hours and a half a week. In course of time the 
Bantu labourers became so expert that they only needed 
supervision, and then fewer white men were required 
except for mechanical purposes. 

On the 1st of January of this year the existing line 
of railway from Capetown to Wellington was transferred 
to the government by the Company that owned it. The 
branch from Salt Eiver to Wynberg, however, remained 
in private hands until July 1876, when it too became 
the property of the government. On the 1st of July 
1873 the telegraphs were purchased also, and since that 
date have been exclusively owned by the state. 

It was resolved that the gauge of the lines of railway 
about to be constructed should be 106*5 centimetres or 
42 English inches. They were to run inland from Cape- 
town, Port Elizabeth, and East London, so that none of 
these ports should be favoured more than either of the 
others. At the last named of these places Mr. J. C. 
Molteno, the prime minister of the colony, who was 
then making a tour through the eastern districts, on 
the 19th of August 1873- turned the first sod of the 
line to Queenstown, and also tilted the first load of 
stones for the breakwater. 

In February 1873 a monthly mail service was com- 
menced by the Union Company between Capetown and 
Aden, the steamships calling each way at Natal, Delagoa 
Bay, Mozambique, and Zanzibar. 

At this time the mails between the Cape and England 
were conveyed twice monthly by the Union Company, 
under a contract which allowed thirty-seven days for the 
passage each way. As this contract would shortly expire, 
the imperial authorities entered provisionally into a new 
one with the same company to convey the mails to the 
1st o ,iry 1881 three times monthly each way, the 

passages not to exceed thirty days, and the postage on 
is to be one shilling the half ounce, of which the 
is to receive ten pence. This arrangement 

1873J Sir Henry Barkly. 7 

caused much dissatisfaction in South Africa. In 1872 
the Cape parliament had agreed with Mr. Donald Currie 
to convey a mail monthly to and from England at a 
greatly reduced rate of postage, upon payment of £150 
for every day under thirty in which the passage should 
be made, and this plan seemed to answer better than 
the other. On the 17th of May 1873 the steamer Windsor 
Castle, of Mr. Currie's line, arrived in Table Bay after a 
passage from Dartmouth of twenty-three days and fifteen 
minutes, the shortest run on record by some fifty hours. 
This was used as a strong argument against the provisional 
arrangement made in England, which was therefore not 
carried out. 

Negotiations with both companies were then commenced, 
but were not completed until 1875, when the arrange- 
ment made was for a mail weekly to and from England. 
The Union and the Castle lines were to run steamers 
alternately, which were to perform the passage in twenty- 
five days. For every day under twenty-five of a passage 
the Cape government was to pay the company owning 
the steamer £100, and for every day exceeding twenty- 
five the company was to pay the same amount. The 
postage on letters was to be at the rate of six pence the 
half ounce, of which the imperial government was to 
receive one penny, the colonial government one penny 
and the company conveying the mail four pence The 
contracts were for five years, and were approved of by 
the Cape parliament in 1875. 

This arrangement was modified in the following year, 
when Mr. Molteno was in England. He arranged with 
the two companies for a weekly service for seven years 
commencing on the 5th of October 1876. For every 
twelve hours of a passage above twenty-three and under 
twenty-six days the company owning the steamer was to 
be paid £50, for every twelve hours under twenty-three 
days it was to be paid £75, and for every twelve hours 
over twenty-six days the company was to pay a fine of 

8 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 73 

;£50. These premiums for speed had the effect that nearly 
every steamship built by either of the companies was an 
improvement upon the others then existing, and soon a 
passage of three weeks came to be looked upon as nothing 
unusual. Increase in the passenger and freight traffic 
necessitated ever and ever larger and more powerful 
ships, until before the close of the century the Cape mail 
steamers were among the finest in the world, and the 
passage between Southampton and Capetown was regularly 
made with the punctuality of an express train in sixteen 
days. Intermediate steamers of the same lines were 
running weekly, making the passage in twenty-one days, 
calling at Teneriffe or Grand Canary and at Saint Helena, 
and carrying passengers at cheaper rates than the more 
luxuriously furnished mailboats. Several other lines of 
steamers, that would once have been considered magni- 
ficent ships, were then conveying passengers and cargo 
to and from the Cape, usually making the run to and 
from England in twenty-one days, and some of them had 
accommodation but slightly inferior to that in the inter- 
mediate boats of the then united Union-Castle line. This 
enormous progress in ocean traffic was typical of the 
general progress of South Africa, from which it naturally 

In the coastal service corresponding improvements were 
constantly going on, and Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, 
and East London were as amply provided for as was 

The inland mails were conveyed in carts until railways 
were constructed, but these ran more frequently than 
formerly. From the beginning of 1874 there was a daily 
mail between Capetown and Port Elizabeth. 

In October 1873 a good carriage road was completed 
through the Tradouw gorge in the mountain range skirting 
tli«- karoo, near the town of Swellendam. It was formally 
opened by the governor, Sir Henry Barkly, who named 
it Southey's pass. 

1873] Sir Henry Barkly. 9 

On the 8th of December 1873 the chief justice, Sir 
Sydney Smith Bell, retired from office, owing to ill health, 
when his place was taken by the attorney-general, the 
honourable John Henry de Villiers, later Sir Henry, later 
still Lord de Villiers, who in after years proved himself 
one of the most eminent judges in the British empire. 
His place as attorney-general in the ministry of Mr. 
Molteno was taken by Mr. Simeon Jacobs, who held it 
until August 1877, when ill health obliged him to retire, 
and Advocate Stockenstrom succeeded. 

No other change in the ministry occurred until the 
20th of July 1875, when the auditor-general, Mr. Eldred 
Mowbray Cole, retired on pension, and the honourable 
Charles Abercrombie Smith (later Sir Charles), commis- 
sioner of crown lands and public works, was appointed 
to succeed him. Mr. Smith made an excellent auditor, 
but there was much dissatisfaction expressed on his ap- 
pointment, as it was not considered proper that a minister 
should be transferred to an important position in the 
civil service. The matter came before parliament in the 
next session, and in May 1876 the house of assembly 
by a large majority affirmed the inexpediency of a ministry 
appointing one of its members to a permanent office. No 
such transfer of employment, consequently, has since been 
made. To succeed Mr. Smith as commissioner of crown 
lands and public works, Mr. (later the right honourable) 
John Xavier Merriman was appointed. 

An experiment that had been made by the Dutch East 
India Company without success was now repeated and 
carried on for several years in different parts of the Cape 
Colony with the same result. This was the production 
of silk, and it was owing to the energy of Dr. Hiddingh, 
a gentleman of means, that it was made. He was desirous 
of turning the time and muscles of the numerous idle 
coloured women and children of Stellenbosch to some 
account, and bethought him of the silkworm as a useful 
agent for that purpose. He procured eggs, and set about 

io History of the Cape Colony. [1873 

teaching the children how to breed the worms and wind 
the silk. He was an enthusiast, who spared neither his 
time nor his purse in the undertaking, and he was able to 
induce people all over the colony to aid in the experi- 
ment. A quantity of silk was really produced at Stellen- 
bosch, which was sent by Dr. Hiddingh to England, where 
it was woven into scarfs. An English firm of manu- 
facturers then offered to purchase as much raw silk of 
the same quality as could be procured at thirty-six 
shillings a pound (£3 19s. 6i. a kilogramme), delivered 
in London. But it takes a very long time and requires 
a great deal of patience to wind a pound of silk, and 
though Dr. Hiddingh tried his utmost to persuade the 
coloured people that it was better to expend that time 
and patience in earning thirty-six shillings than to be 
idle and earn nothing at all, he did not succeed in in- 
ducing them to continue the task. 

The government assisted in the experiment by securing 
the service of some Italian families who were skilled in 
silk culture, bringing them out to South Africa, and sta- 
tioning them at the Knysria, which was believed to be 
the most suitable locality in the colony for the purpose 
intended. But no one will work for a shilling when, 
everything else being equal, he can earn two or three 
in the same time, and the returns in this industry were 
so small that success was hopeless. Wherever it was 
tried the result was the same, and it soon became 
evident that silk could only be produced profitably in 
countries where labour was very much cheaper than 
in South Africa. 

The defeat of the bill for the amendment of the 
constitution was followed on the 20th of August 1873 
by the dissolution of both houses of parliament, and an 
appeal by the government to the country. The elections 
the legislative council took place on the 5th of 
November. There were thirteen candidates in the western 
proi 'id fifteen in the eastern, and the result of 

1 8 74 J Sir Henry Barkly. 1 1 

the election was the return of a majority in favour of 
the ministry. The elections for the house of assembly 
took place in February 1874. 

The new parliament met on the 28th of May 1874. 
The seven circles bill was introduced at once, and was 
carried in the assembly by a large majority and in the 
council by eleven votes to eight. By this act the colony 
was divided into seven circles, each of which was 
entitled to return three members of the legislative council, 
so that the country districts would be more equitably 
represented than under the old system of two provinces, 
under which Capetown and Grahamstown secured an 
undue proportion of votes. It was anticipated by the 
ministry that the new system would also have the 
advantage of putting an end to the clamour for separa- 
tion of the provinces with a distinct government in each, 
which was still advocated by a large section of the 
English party in the east. The old principle of electing 
members was retained, that is an elector could give his 
three votes to one candidate or distribute them as he 
pleased, thus securing the representation of minorities. 
The members were to be elected for seven years, instead 
of ten as before, and were all to be returned at the 
same time. The chief justice remained president of the 
council by virtue of his office, and could take part in 
the debates. The first election under this system took 
place in November 1878. 

In the session of 1874, which closed on the 31st of 
July, provision was made for an increase in the number 
of magistrates in the colony. On the 1st of April 1873 
the Wittebergen Native Keserve, previously under a 
superintendent, became a magisterial district, and was 
named Herschel. On the 3rd of September 1874 Tarka 
was proclaimed a magisterial district, on the 19th of the 
same month Willowmore, on the 23rd of the same 
month Carnarvon, and on the 10th of October Port 
Nolloth were similarly proclaimed. 

12 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 74 

Other important acts of the session of 1874 were one 
for taking a census, one permitting free testamentary 
disposition of property, and one for detaining the Hlubi 
chief Langalibalele and his son Malambule, who had 
been pronounced guilty of rebellion in Natal, as prisoners 
on Kobben Island, as Natal had no place in which they 
could be confined in safety, and it was regarded as 
necessary for the peace of South Africa that they should 
be kept in security. Provision was made for the con- 
struction of three bridges over the Orange river and for 
the improvement of various ports, among which was 
Port Nolloth on the coast of Little Namaqualand, where 
copper ore was shipped for Swansea. 

But what makes this session more decidedly a memor- 
able one was the approval of the construction of some 
eight hundred miles or twelve hundred and eighty kilo- 
metres of additional railroad at an estimated cost of 
£5,000,000. The line was being extended from Wellington 
to Worcester, in accordance with a resolution of parlia- 
ment in the preceding year, and now a further extension 
by way of the Hex river kloof and over the karoo to 
Beaufort West was authorised. The property of the 
Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage Bailway Company was 
purchased, and from Zwartkops Kiver, where on the 2nd 
of January of this year 1874 the line from Port 
Elizabeth had been opened, there were to be extensions 
to Graaff-Keinet and to the Bushman's river. From 
East London there was to be a line to Queenstown, 
with a short branch from Blaney station to King- 
Williamstown. This was a tremendous leap forward for 
a colony with a European population of less than a 
quarter of a million, but it was a necessary advance if 
the interior was to be opened up, as there were no 
[gable rivers, and ox-waggon traffic was not only slow 
tod expensive, but was often interrupted. 

The progress made in the construction of the railroads 
previously authorised is here shown. From Wellington 

1874] Sir Henry Barkly. 13 

to Tulbagh Eoad just beyond the cleft in the first range 
of mountains through which the Little Berg river flows, 
the line was opened on the 31st of August 1875, to Ceres 
Eoad on the 3rd of November 1875, and to Worcester on 
the 16th of June 1876. From Port Elizabeth the line 
was opened to Commando Kraal on the 24th of July 1875, 
and to Uitenhage on the 21st of September of the same 

An event that should not pass unnoticed was the open- 
ing in February 1874 of the Huguenot seminary for girls, 
as no other institution in the country has done so much 
for the education of the daughters of the farmers and 
their training in habits of neatness and usefulness. This 
excellent institution owes its existence to the zeal of the 
reverend Dr. Andrew Murray, who took advantage of a 
large building at Wellington being for sale, and collected 
sufficient money to purchase it and adapt it to the purpose 
of a boarding school. Trained teachers were obtained 
from Holyoke in America, one of whom, Miss Ferguson, 
a lady of great energy and ability, was the first principal. 
The object was to give a sound Christian education and 
to inculcate habits of tidiness and domestic economy in 
the pupils, rather than to turn out idle ladies. The 
school grew rapidly, extensive buildings were erected, 
largely by means of money contributed in America, and 
at length a college department was added in which 
selected girls are trained as teachers and to fill important 
positions in life, while the lower school continues its 
highly useful work. The late Mr. John Samuel, organ- 
ising inspector of schools, testified of the Huguenot semi- 
nary that on entering a farm house in any part of the 
western districts he could see at once whether the 
daughters had been trained at Wellington or not. If 
they had, everything was clean and tidy, and the table 
at meals was laid out in a way that would have been 
creditable in any town household. He could not speak 
too highly of the admirable work this school is doing. 

I4 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 74 

Ostrich farming was at this time being rapidly ex- 
tended throughout the colony, as it was found more 
profitable than any other industry. It was certainly pre- 
carious, as the sale of plumes in large quantities depended 
entirely upon fashion in Europe and America, but as no 
other feather can compare with that of the ostrich as an 
ornament for ladies' hats, there was a likelihood of the 
demand being maintained. This industry was of great 
benefit to the colony. The large profits enabled many 
farmers to redeem the mortgages upon their properties, 
and fencing, previously almost unknown except for 
gardens, became common. The plumage of different birds 
varies in quality and in degrees of whiteness, hence a 
careful selection was needed for breeding purposes, and 
choice birds brought almost fabulous prices. The ostrich 
of North Africa has feathers of purer white than those 
of the south of the continent, and in 1876 four choice 
birds were imported from Barbary by Messrs. Adler 
& Co., of Port Elizabeth. But the expense of obtaining 
them and bringing them out was so great that when 
they were offered for sale by auction it was not covered, 
and the experiment was not repeated. 

As if to compensate for the profits derived from ostrich 
farming, two insect pests at this time made their appear- 
ance, and did an immense amount of damage. One of 
these was the dorthesia, ^commonly called the Australian 
bug, because it was first observed on trees of Australian 
origin. How it came into the country is not known, but 
in 1873 some blackwood trees in the Cape peninsula were 
seen to be infested with it. All efforts to destroy it were 
m vain, and with amazing rapidity it spread until all the 
jitiful blackwood trees, with which the streets of many 
villages throughout the colony were adorned, were utterly 
destroyed. From the blackwood it spread to the orange 
and soon appeared to be almost omnivorous, not 
even the strawberry plants escaping. The orange groves 
of the western districts, from which many families made 

1874] Sir Henry Barkly. 15 

a comfortable living by selling citrons, limes, lemons, and 
the most delicious oranges and nartjes at a shilling the 
hundred, entirely disappeared before it. ' Year after year 
its ravages extended farther and farther, not only in 
geographical extent but in the variety of plants infested 
by it, when fortunately it was discovered that a Cali- 
fornian ladybird was its natural enemy and capable of 
destroying it. Men were sent to California by the govern- 
ment, and the ladybird was introduced. It had a large 
field to work in, but it proved itself a thoroughly efficient 
agent, and in course of time, thanks to the perseverance of 
this little beetle, it became possible to plant orange groves 
once more. The ornamental blackwood tree has not yet 
been reintroduced. 

Another and still more destructive insect that began to 
cause alarm in South Africa in 1873 was the phylloxera, 
that had then done immense damage to the vineyards of 
France and other parts of Europe. This insect preys 
upon the roots of the vine, and the first indication of its 
presence is the death of the plant. How it was intro- 
duced into South Africa is not known. When it was 
realised in 1873 that the scourge was in the country it 
was hoped that its spread might be checked, for it was 
supposed to exist in only a few localities, and there the 
vines were dug up and burnt. Importations of plants of 
all kinds from abroad were prohibited, through fear of 
introducing the insect, but this restriction was soon found 
to have been made too late. The phylloxera spread, and 
utter ruin was staring a large and important section of 
the community in the face when a remedy was discovered. 
There is an American vine whose roots resist the attack 
of the phylloxera, or upon which it cannot live, and 
cuttings were obtained and propagated as rapidly as 
possible. Upon the plant, as soon as it has taken root, 
the grape bearing vine is grafted, which thus becomes 
immune from the insect pest. But the expense of re- 
planting a large vineyard is very considerable, and the 

1 6 History of the Cape Colony. [1875 

loss of time before it is in full bearing is a heavy item 
on the wrong side of the ledger, so that the viticulturists 
suffered heavily from this plague. 

In December 1874 great damage was done in the 
eastern districts by such floods as had not been known 
for half a century previously. Eain fell not in drops but 
in sheets, which caused every river and every streamlet 
to overflow its banks, and rush down to the sea with 
terrible force. Such bridges as were not high above the 
water and resting on piers of great strength were washed 
away, many houses were wholly or partly destroyed, 
cultivated ground disappeared, leaving only bare rock or 
barren subsoil, and great numbers of sheep and horned 
cattle were drowned. In many places human beings 
narrowly escaped being carried away by a rush of water 
in places always before considered perfectly safe. At 
East London five vessels were wrecked in the great storm, 
and at Port Natal two, for the floods were not confined to 
the Cape Colony, but were general throughout South- 
E astern Africa. 

It is only at long intervals that disasters of this kind 
occur, though precaution should always be taken when 
building, especially near streams, to provide against 
sudden rushes of water. Generally such storms are con- 
fined within very narrow limits, and it sometimes happens 
that deep channels may be washed out along a particular 
line, while a few hundred paces on each side of it not 
a drop of rain falls. Such was the case, for instance, 
in December 1875, when the Doom river, which runs 
through the village of Heidelberg in the Cape Colony, 
suddenly rose and carried away forty- five houses with all 
their contents, with the loss of two lives. The gardens 
along the course of the stream were completely destroyed, 
all the soil being washed away. 

Cotton growing was now dying out in the eastern 
districts, owing mainly to the scarcity of labour in the 
picking season. In 1874 unginned cotton weighing ninety- 


Sir Henry Barkly. 


two thousand pounds (41,818 kilogrammes) was exhibited 
in Grahamstown, but this was the last occasion on which 
any considerable quantity was gathered. 

On the 7th of March 1875 a census of the colony 
was taken. The population was found to have increased 
in the preceding ten years at the rate of twenty-four 
per cent, and to consist of 







Mixed breeds 






or 3*6 to the square mile, the Europeans being a little 
less than one-third of the whole number. 

The most prominent subject of discussion throughout 
South Africa for some time after May 1875 was that of 
the union of the several colonies and states under one 
government. It arose from a despatch of Lord Carnarvon, 
since February 1874 secretary of state for the colonies, 
to Sir Henry Barkly, dated the 4th of May, desiring a 
conference to be held in the colony to discuss a uniform 
system of dealing with the Bantu, the supply of arms 
and ammunition to those people, and the advantages of 
confederation. He named the individuals whom he 
wished to take part in the conference : Mr. Theophilus 
Shepstone to represent Natal, Mr. Richard Southey to 
represent Griqualand "West, Mr. J. C. Molteno to 
represent the western province of the Cape Colony, 
Mr. John Paterson to represent the eastern 'province of 
the Cape Colony, a delegate from the Orange Free 
State, one from the South African Republic, Mr. James 
Anthony Froude, the historian, to represent Great 
Britain, and Sir Henry Barkly or Lieutenant-General 
Sir Arthur Augustus Thurlow Cunynghame, who since 
March 1874 had been in command of the British troops 


1 8 History of the Cape Colony [1875 

in South Africa, as president. The views of the British 
government regarding South Africa were thus diametri- 
cally opposite to what they had been less than twenty 
years before, with the exception that now as then the 
principal object was to save expense. 

The intention of Lord Carnarvon was unquestionably 
good, and there were few thinking men in South Africa 
who were not in favour of the union of the disjointed 
sections of the country, but the time was singularly 
inopportune for such a conference as was proposed, and 
the very manner in which it was brought forward gave 
offence to the party in power in the colony. It was in- 
opportune, because the Orange Free State was then 
irritated by the loss of territory, and certainly would not 
take part in any discussion if a representative of Griqua- 
land West was admitted. The South African Eepublic 
was also irritated by the staggering blow it had received 
when its south-western districts were declared by the 
Keate award not to belong to it, and would not take 
part in any movement that might end in the loss of 
its independence. It was in favour of union certainly, 
but union under the republican flag, which the English 
colonies would resist to the last. Mr. Pieter Jacobus 
Joubert, who was acting as president during the absence 
of Mr. Burgers in Europe, put the case of his state 
clearly when on the 7th of June 1875 he wrote to Sir 
Henry Barkly enquiring whether the sending of a 
delegate by the South African Eepublic would be re- 
garded as equivalent to an acknowledgment of the 
Keate award. 

The colonial ministry objected to the proposed confer- 
ence because they thought it should originate in South 
Africa, not in England, and they were annoyed that a 
delegate had been named to represent the eastern 
province. The prime minister represented the whole 
colony, they said, not a part of it only. And as if to 
strengthen their view of the matter, the old separatist 

l8 75] Sir Henry Barkly. 19 

party raised its head again, and began an agitation on 
the plea that Lord Carnarvon was in favour of their 

On the 14th of April parliament had assembled, and 
on the 30th of June it was prorogued. The despatch 
arrived during the session, and was laid before it, when 
much merriment was created by the name of Mr. John 
Paterson being included in the number of Lord Carnar- 
von's nominees, as he was not only an opponent of 
the existing government, but was far from being of con- 
ciliatory disposition. A minute of the ministers was 
attached to the despatch, opposing the proposed confer- 
ence on the ground that the time was inopportune, that 
the despatch resuscitated the separation movement, and 
that such a measure should originate in South Africa. 
Many of the members, however, felt grateful to Lord 
Carnarvon for the interest he was taking in the country 
and for his advocacy of a measure that might tend to 
better treatment of the two republics. In the legislative 
council a resolution thanking him was carried by nine 
votes to seven, but in the assembly the minute of the 
ministers, based on the principle that in a colony 
possessing responsible government such action as that of 
the secretary of state was unconstitutional, was approved 
of by thirty-two votes to twenty- three. 

On ascertaining that the Cape Colony would take no 
part in the conference, Lord Carnarvon abandoned the 
plan of holding it there, and on the 15th of Julv 1875 
proposed that the place of meeting should be Natal, 
with Sir Henry Bulwer as president. There was then a 
prospect that the Orange Free State would be repre- 
sented, as President Brand had expressed his willingness 
to take part in a discussion upon the treatment of the 
Bantu and the sale of arms to those people, if the 
British government would consent to settle the dispute 
regarding the diamond fields by direct negotiation. To 
this condition Lord Carnarvon had agreed, and if an 

20 History Oj the Cape Colony. [ l8 75 

amicable settlement should be effected, one difficulty 
would be removed. The plan of a conference in Natal, 
however, was soon abandoned. 

On the 20th of June Mr. Froude, who had been 
nominated by Lord Carnarvon to represent Great Britain, 
arrived in Capetown from England. He had visited 
South Africa once before — 21 September 1874 to 10 
January 1875 — and had made a tour to the principal 
towns, gathering information on the country and its 
people. He announced himself as a private gentleman 
unconnected with government, and was everywhere well 
received as a distinguished visitor. To the residents in 
the Free State he had made himself particularly agree- 
able by praising their institutions in his speeches at 
public meetings and commending their love of independ- 
ence. He could not fail' to be impressed with the harsh 
treatment the Free State had sustained, and as he freely 
expressed his opinion that a great wrong had been done, 
the Dutch-speaking people throughout the country to- 
gether with the moderate English residents — those who 
placed a higher value upon Great Britain's strict adher- 
ence to treaty obligations than upon territorial expansion 
however alluring — regarded him with much favour. When 
he arrived the second time he came as a confidential 
agent of Lord Carnarvon, expecting to take part in a 
conference, and anxious to carry into effect the wishes 
of that minister in regard to the union of the colonies 
and the republics. No abler person could have been 
selected for the purpose, if it had been practicable. 

He found that the colony would not take part in a 
conference, and that consequently without the member of 
the proposed confederation that would have to bear the 
greater part of the burden of defence of the whole, any 
union of the others would be a farce. He therefore set to 
work to create such a strong opinion in favour of the! 
measure as would compel the ministry either to change 
their attitude or to give place to others more tractable. 

1875] Sir Henry Barkly. 21 

He made a tour through the country, attending meetings 
at the chief centres of population and speaking of the 
benefits that would follow the adoption of Lord 
Carnarvon's scheme. A fluent orator, though he adapted 
himself to his audience and his observations at one place 
were often contradictory of those at another, he was able 
to create enthusiasm, especially among those who for 
any reason were opposed to the existing ministry. It 
was a strange spectacle, that of an agent of the secre- 
tary of state delivering speeches antagonistic to the 
existing authorities in a colony possessing responsible 
government, and it tended to create partisan feeling of 
a very bitter kind. 

A special session of the Cape parliament was sum- 
moned to consider the matter, and met on the 10th of 
November. On the following day discussion was pre- 
vented in the legislative council by an immediate vote 
being called for, when a resolution in favour of being re- 
presented in the proposed conference was carried by nine 
votes against six. A little later a despatch was received 
by the governor from Lord Carnarvon, and was made public, 
announcing that he had abandoned the design of a con- 
ference in South Africa in favour of one to be held in 
London. Thereupon, after eight days' debating in the 
house of assembly, a resolution was proposed by Mr. 
Solomon, accepted by the ministry, and carried by thirty- 
six votes to twenty-two, that "as it appears from the 
despatch dated the 22nd of October 1875 that the Eight 
Honourable the Secretary of State for the Colonies has 
withdrawn his proposal for a Conference of Eepresenta- 
tives of the several Colonies and States of South Africa, 
this House is of opinion that it is not now called upon 
to record its continued objection to the holding, at the 
present time, of such a Conference, or its condemnation 
of the unconstitutional agitation carried on in the Colony 
in connection with this question. The House desires,' 
however, to express its opinion that the Government and 

22 History of the Cape Colony. E l8 7 6 

Parliament should, if it be desired by the Imperial 
Government, give it their counsel and assistance in 
settling the difficulties which have arisen out of the 
extension of British jurisdiction to the Territory known 
as Griqualand West." 

On the 25th of November Mr. Froude left the Cape 
to return to England, where he sent in a long and 
interesting report of his transactions in South Africa, 
which shows that he failed to grasp the real causes of 
the failure of the scheme he had advocated so brilliantly. 
He had not been sufficiently long in the country to 
understand the feelings of its people. 

In response to Lord Carnarvon's invitation to the 
governments of the several colonies and states of South 
Africa to send delegates to a conference in London, only 
Natal complied fully. Messrs. Shepstone, Ackerman, and 
Kobinson were deputed to represent that colony. On the 
9th of June 1876 the Cape house of assembly resolved 
not to appoint delegates to the conference, but to send 
Mr. J. C. Molteno to give advice and assistance in the 
settlement of the Griqualand West dispute. Mr. Molteno 
left on the 7th of July for this purpose, but found on 
his arrival in England that Lord Carnarvon and President 
Brand had already concluded an amicable arrangement 
regarding the disputed boundary. He therefore took no 
part in the conference. President Brand had gone to 
England to endeavour to obtain redress from Lord 
Carnarvon for the seizure of territory belonging to his 
state, the imperial authorities having consented to deal 
directly with him instead of through the medium of the 
high commissioner. 

He arrived in London on the 6th of May 1876, and 
was courteously received , by Lord Carnarvon. He asked 
lie restitution of the territory east of the Vaal river 
and north of the Vetberg line, that had been seized 
under the supposition that it belonged to the Griqua 
captain Nicholas Waterboer, and which had since been 

l8 7 6 ] Sir Henry Barkly. 23 

pronounced by a British court of justice, after long 
and patient investigation, never to have been occupied or 
possessed in any way by Waterboer or his people. This 
was now indisputable, as was also the fact that it had 
formed part of the Orange - River Sovereignty and after- 
wards of the Orange Free State. But restitution was 
then impossible. In that territory were the principal 
diamond mines, the great majority of the residents were 
British subjects, and there were vested interests that 
could not be disturbed without ruinous consequences. 
Lord Carnarvon was obliged therefore to decline useless 
discussion on that point, but offered a pecuniary solatium 
instead. With the assistance of Mr. Donald Currie the 
amount of this was fixed at £90,000, and the boundary 
line was modified so as to restore to the Free State 
some farms whose owners were particularly desirous of 
retaining their republican citizenship. Thus one of the 
causes of unrest in South Africa was removed. 

The volksraad of the Free State had empowered the 
president to attend the conference and discuss the questions 
of a uniform policy throughout South Africa regarding 
the treatment of the Bantu and of the supply of arms 

uid ammunition to those people, but not to take part 
in any debate that might affect the independence of the 
state. The South African Republic took no notice at all 

if the matter. 

The so-called conference was opened in London on 
the 3rd of August 1876. Lord Carnarvon presided in 

>erson. Sir Garnet Wolseley had been invited to take 

>art in it, and was present. Sir Theophilus Shepstone, 
as he had n£>w become, and Messrs. Ackerman and 
Robinson were there, as was Mr. Froude, who had been 
requested by Lord Carnarvon to represent Griqualand 
West. These and President Brand constituted the con- 
ference. On the 15th Mr. Brand left to return to South 
Africa, but nominated Mr. H. A. L. Hamelberg to 
represent him at any future meeting. The whole thing 

24 History of the Cape Colony. [1875 

had become a farce, but the secretary of state professed 
to have obtained sufficient information from it to guide 
him in framing an act to enable the colonies and states 
to enter into confederation. 

Some events of minor importance that occurred during 
the period embraced in this chapter may here be 

On the 29th of May 1874 her Majesty the queen was 
pleased to grant to the Cape Colony the coat of arms now 
in use. It was designed by Mr. Charles Aitken Fair- 
bridge, of Capetown, and is emblematic of the Dutch, 
French, and British elements in the population, while 
the supporters are characteristically South African animals, 
the gnu and the gemsbok. 

On the 14th of January 1875 a disastrous fire broke 
out in the town of Stellenbosch, and could not be extin- 
guished until engines and three hundred men of the 
86th regiment arrived from Capetown. Some fifty houses 
were burned before the flames were subdued. 

During the night of the 1st of October of the same 
year an almost equally destructive fire took place in the 
village of Wellington, when some forty houses with their 
contents were burned. 



During 1876 and the early months of 1877 the progress 
of construction of the different railway and harbour 
works was rapid, and immigrants continued to arrive 
from Europe in considerable numbers, so that the 
prospects of the colony continued to be cheerful. At 
this time several parties of agricultural immigrants from 
Northern Germany were provided with land on the Cape flats, 
which they soon turned to good account. The rolling 
sand had previously been fixed by means of the 
mesembryanthemum, and screens of acacias and similar 
trees prevented the wind from disturbing large areas, 
which could then be placed under cultivation. The sand 
was found to be fertile, and was made still more so by 
stable litter and street sweepings carted to it from Cape- 
town, sc that it bore excellent crops of vegetables. The 
contrast is great between the Cape flats as a dreary 
waste of drifting sand and a succession of little farms 
with comfortable houses and hard roads, with screens of 
trees and green fields and gardens, with even a railway 
to convey produce to market as is seen to-day, and it 
depicts what can be effected in South Africa by the 
industry and; patience of such men and women as these 

In November 1876 the eminent marine engineer Sir 
John Coode arrived in Capetown from England, his 
object being to inspect the different ports of the Cape 
Colony and Natal and devise plans for their improve- 
ment. His reports upon East London and Durban were 


26 History of the Cape Cowny. [ l8 76 

especially favourable, though his estimate of the cost of 
the necessary works was high. At Port Natal he found 
that Mr. Milne's designs, according to which construction 
had been carried out from 1850 to 1856, were good, but 
that Captain Vetch's plans, which were afterwards 
adopted, were faulty. Upon these <£200,000 had been 
thrown away. Sir John Coode's plans have since been 
carried out, both at Port Natal and at East London, 
with excellent results, the bars at both places have been 
removed so as to allow the largest vessels to enter, and 
safe harbours have thus been formed where ships can 
lie beside piers and discharge or load as if in a dock. 

On the eastern frontier of the Cape Colony in 1876 
there was a deep feeling of unrest, owing to the pre- 
valence of cattle thefts on an alarming scale by the Xosas 
and the insecurity of the farmers. At one time there 
was almost a panic, for the robbers had become so 
daring that a general collision was apprehended. Since 
1857 there had been nothing to check the amazing 
natural increase of the Xosas, and they were now push- 
ing their way into localities previously occupied by 
Europeans. The law gave them a great advantage. A 
European could not purchase or hire land occupied by 
them on communal tenure, or even the grants made to 
individuals by Sir George Grey in the district of King- 
Williamstown,* the title-deeds of which contained a 
clause that they could not be transferred except to 
other Bantu without the consent of the government. 
The object in making those grants was to create a body 
of individual landholders who would serve as an example 
of prosperity to the other Bantu, and therefore consent 
to transfer to a European was never given. But it was 
perfectly free to a Xosa to hire or purchase land from 

Sir George Grey gave between two and three hundred selected Bantu 

bitlei under individual tenure to plots of land in the district of 

King-Williamstown, each from forty to eighty acres in extent. Most 

o! these plots are still occupied by the descendants of the original 


1876] Sir Henry Barkly. 2 J 

Europeans, and so white farmers were giving place to 
blacks in many localities. 

When a farmer leased land to Bantu, his neighbours 
made a great cry against him, but they were soon 
obliged to follow his example and go and live elsewhere. 
On the right bank of the Keiskama at the junction with 
the Tyumie a block of three farms had been purchased 
by Oba, son of Tyali, who had left the Gaika location 
with many hundred followers and gone to live there. 
Some Imidange, the most expert thieves in the whole 
country, had taken up their residence on one of these 
farms also. Tini, a son of Makoma, had actually pur- 
chased ground in the Waterkloof, where his father had 
been able to hold out so long in the war of 1850-52, 
and had moved to it from the Gaika location with a 
large body of retainers. It was only natural that the 
Xosas should try to recover in this way the land they 
had lost, and it would be most unfair to describe their 
motives as criminal ; but looking at the matter from the 
farmers' standpoint, the position had become dangerous, 
and the march of civilisation was threatened. 

Mission work was effecting changes with a small 
section of the Xosas, and other agencies were operating 
in bringing them more into line with European habits, 
but the great majority still clung to the ideals and 
customs of their ancestors. If they had adopted the 
use of iron pots, of blankets, or even the clothing of 
the white people, and frequently of ploughs, that did not 
indicate a change of much value. They all desired to 
have guns, but every savage does that. The Xosas in 
fact were an intensely conservative people, and just 
because they were, when any of them did make a 
change it was likely to be lasting. In course of time 
they would probably take a place among the most 
advanced coloured people in the world, but in 1876 that 
time was not yet in sight. Still there were indications 
that it would come, for a community that could produce 

28 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 77 

such men as the eloquent and zealous reverend Tiyo 
Soga, the devoted evangelist William Koyi, who died as 
a missionary in Central Africa, William Seti, one of the 
most painstaking and competent clerks the author of 
these volumes ever had, John Knox Bokwe (now the 
reverend), who for many years was secretary and book- 
keeper of the Lovedale institution, and a score of others 
that might be mentioned, must have a lofty future before 
it. The Xosas, like all other Bantu, are of mixed 
blood, and among their ancestors must have been Asiatics 
of high intelligence. The men here named may have 
owed their qualities to atavism, but even if so, they 
serve as models for their people to work up to, and in 
course of time an elevation must take place. If by 
any mischance they were left to themselves they would 
not advance, but with civilisation facing them and 
the leaven of a higher life working in the minds of 
some of themselves, they must conform to the law of 

In 1876 while there was a small section professing 
Christianity and living to some extent in the manner 
of Europeans, the great bulk of the Xosa tribe had made 
little or no advance beyond the condition in which their 
ancestors were a hundred years before. They had 
become well acquainted with white people since the 
dispersion of 1857, and did not hate them as bitterly as 
before, still there was little love lost on either side. 
The death of Makoma on Eobben Island on the 9th of 
September 1873 was an event that had caused much ill 
feeling, for he, the hero of the Xosas, had died in 
banishment, without a relative or a friend near him, 
with no one to give him the burial that became a chief 
of high rank and distinguished valour. The government 
had decided to send one of his wives and a servant to 
keep him company, but had postponed doing so until it 
was too late. Drunkard and half maniac as he was 
when among his own people, it is impossible not to feel 

1877] Sir Henry Barkly. 29 

sorrow for the unfortunate old man, passing his last 
days on a bare islet far from the pleasant woods and 
streams of Kaffraria, and with no one near him that 
cared whether he lived or died. And if one of another 
race sympathises with him, what must the Gaikas have 
felt when the tidings reached them that he had died as 
a dog dies? What must Tini, his son, have felt? 

The fate of Makoma is an illustration of what must 
happen when civilisation and barbarism come in contact, 
and barbarism refuses to give way. It was not in his 
nature to refrain from causing disturbances when he was 
at liberty on the frontier, and so the government was 
obliged to place him in confinement at a distance, where 
he could not communicate with the people who were 
ready to obey his orders at any hazard to themselves. 
He can be pitied, but can hardly be blamed, for being 
what he was, and the government cannot be blamed 
for acting as it did, though it is to be regretted that 
the benevolent intention to provide him with some com- 
panions was not carried into effect more quickly. 

In 1876 a frontier defence commission was appointed, 
with Mr. (later Sir) John Gordon Sprigg as its chair- 
man, to take evidence as to the condition of affairs and 
to endeavour to devise a plan of restoring tranquillity. 
Mr. Sprigg was a farmer in the district of East London, 
and the other members were equally well acquainted 
with the state of the border, but they took a good deal 
of evidence on the subject. In January 1877 the 
commission sent in a report which was somewhat 
startling, for the farmers were living, it stated, as if 
on the brink of a volcano. It proposed an additional 
expenditure of £150,000 a year for defensive purposes, 
and recommended the increase of the frontier armed 
and mounted police from nine hundred, its strength at 
the time, to twelve hundred men, with three hundred 
footmen additional attached to it for the purpose of 
garrisoning fixed posts. A strong burgher force was 

3<d History of the Cape Colony. L l8 73 

proposed to be organised, and volunteers were recom- 
mended to be encouraged. 

By persons at a distance the danger described in 
this report was regarded as greatly exaggerated, and 
parliament, when it met, was indisposed to incur the 
expense recommended, but before the year ended there 
was ample proof that the border was really in a con- 
dition of peril. 

In 1873 the territory between the river Kei and the 
colony of Natal was occupied by a number of tribes 
independent of each other, among whom war was almost 
constant. The British government had disclaimed 
authority over them all, but some of them — particularly 
the Fingos and the different clans that had been located 
by Major Gawler at Idutywa — refused to be abandoned, 
and looked to the Cape colonial government for protec- 
tion, without which they could not exist. These people, 
having no chiefs of rank over them, regarded the 
diplomatic agents in the country not as mere consuls, 
but as their rulers, and construed advice given to them 
as orders which they willingly obeyed. There were the 
Galekas, the Bomvanas, the Tembus proper, the emigrant 
Tembus, the Pondomsis in two sections, the Bacas, the 
Xesibes, the Pondos in two sections, the Griquas, the 
little communities located by Sir Philip Wodehouse 
along the base of the Drakensberg, and some others of 
minor importance, from any of whom a disturbance 
might arise that would end in a big war. 

As the territory was no longer of the value that it 
had been when a large ^portion of it was unoccupied 
and might without injustice to any one have been used 
for settlement by Europeans, neither the colonists nor 
the government cast a covetous eye upon it. Its posses- 
sion could not add to the public wealth, but on the 
contrary would cost more money to maintain than could 
be derived from it. But the colonial government felt 
itself under the necessity of taking the responsibility of 

l8 73] Sir Henry Barkly. 31 

enforcing order, and that implied the extension of its 

I authority over the various tribes. 
War between the Galekas under Kreli and the Tembus 
proper under Gangelizwe forced the ministry to act, in 
order to extend colonial influence to the rear of those 
tribes, and in July 1873 Mr. Joseph Millerd Orpen, 
previously a member of the house of assembly and an 
ardent advocate of the extension of authority over the 
border tribes, was appointed magistrate with a little 
party of colonial blacks who had settled at the Gatberg, 
in the present district of Maclear, and with the Hlubis 
under Zibi, the Batlokua under Lehana, and the Basuto 
under Lebenys, who had been located by Sir Philip 
Wodehouse on the high plateau under the Drakensberg. 
These people were then so entirely at the mercy of 
more powerful neighbours that they expressed satis- 
faction with the appointment of a magistrate to exercise 
jurisdiction over them, because it implied their protec- 
tion. Mr. Orpen was also appointed British resident for 
the whole of the territory then termed Nomansland, now 
Griqualand East. 

Upon his arrival in the territory, he found that war 
was being carried on by the Pondo chief Ndamasi against 
the Pondomsis under Umhlonhlo, and that the rival 
sections of the Pondomsis were as usual fighting with 
each other. The Pondos were gaining an ascendency 
over their divided opponents, and there seemed a likeli- 
hood that they would be able to crush them at no 
distant date. Mr. Orpen immediately organised the Hlubi, 
Batlokua, and Basuto clans under him into a military 
force, and called upon Adam Kok, the chief of the 
Griquas, for assistance. In September he visited 
Umhlonhlo and Umditshwa, both of whom again made 
overtures to be received under British protection, and 
promised to lay down their arms. Then, feeling con- 
fident that the Pondos, seeing the force that could be 
brought against them, would hes tate before coming into 

32 History of the Cape Colony. t l8 74 

collision with the colonial government, he called upon 
them to cease hostilities. They did so, and within a few 
weeks there was peace throughout the territory. 

In October the secretary for native affairs authorised 
Mr. Orpen to announce to Umhlonhlo and Umditshwa that 
they and their people were received as British subjects. 
Makaula, chief of the Bacas, and Makwai, chief of a 
clan of refugee Basuto, had repeated their applications, 
but the colonial government considered it advisable to 
let their cases stand over for a while, as they were not 
pressing. Formal notification of their acceptance was 
made to the two Pondomsi chiefs on the 22nd of 
October, and information thereof was sent to Umqikela 
and Ndamasi. These chiefs objected, first to the line from 
the Umtata to the Umzimvubu between Nomansland and 
Pondoland, secondly to the reception as British subjects 
of chiefs and people whom they claimed as being under 
their jurisdiction, and thirdly to the appointment of British 
officials in Pondo territory without their consent. But 
they declared that they had every desire to remain at 
peace with the colonial government, and would therefore 
respect the new arrangement. 

The failure of the rebellion of the Hlubis under Lan- 
galibalele in Natal* did much to strengthen the authority 
of the Cape government in Nomansland. The rebels had 
many relatives living in this territory under Ludidi, 
Langalibalele's brother, Zibi, Langalibalele's second cousin, 
and several other chiefs, and it was at first supposed 
that they would try to make their way to their kins- 
men. To prevent this, Mr. Orpen enrolled a band 
of Batlokua and Basuto, and when it was ascertained 
that the rebels had gone to Basutoland, he actually 
went across the Drakensberg to assist the colonial forces 
against them with two hundred and thirty-five picked 
men under Lehana and Lebenya. But the country he 
had to traverse was the most rugged in South Africa, 
* See page 227 et seq. 

1873] Sir Henry Barkly. 33 

so that he did not reach Basutoland until after the sur- 
render of Langalibalele. To all the tribes in Natal, and 
particularly to those in Nomansland where the conflicting 
elements were more numerous than elsewhere, the fate 
of the rebels was a lesson that the Europeans were 
strong enough to enforce order. The clans, though 
weary of their perpetual feuds, would certainly not have 
submitted to the white man's rule for any cause except 
that of respect for power. We flatter ourselves by 
speaking of our greater wisdom, clemency, sense of 
justice, &c, but there are few Bantu who respect us 
for any other quality than our superior strength. 

After the reception of Umhlonhlo and Umditshwa as 
British subjects in 1873, Mr. Orpen took up his resi- 
dence at Tsolo in the Pondomsi district, his object 
being to establish the authority of the Cape government 
there in something more than name. He found the 
chiefs Umhlonhlo and Umditshwa altogether opposed to 
any interference with their people. Though the system 
of government by means . of magistrates had been 
explained to them and they had applied to be received 
as British subjects with full knowledge of what the 
effect upon themselves would be, they now remonstrated 
against any deprivation of their former power. Each of 
them was causing people to be put to death on charges of 
dealing in witchcraft, or merely from caprice. Umhlonhlo 
refused even to allow a census of his people to be 

In this case, as in so many others, the dissensions 
among the clans presented a lever to work with. Mr. 
Orpen explained how easily he could bring about a com- 
bination of opponents to crush any one who should 
resist him, and how slow friends would be in coming to 
assist against a power that had just punished Langali- 
balele so severely. The two chiefs realised the situation, 
and without much ado made a show of submission. 
They were both charged with murder, tried in open 


34 ^History of the Cape Colony. [1875 

court, found guilty, and fined in accordance with 
Bantu law. 

The next event of importance in the territory was the 
establishment of colonial authority in Adam Kok's 
district. The Griquas had moved there at the instance 
of her Majesty's high commissioner in South Africa, but 
they had never received protection, or been in any way 
interfered with. Adam Kok was getting old, and was 
without an heir. In 1874 he had nominally some thirty- 
six thousand subjects, but only four thousand one 
hundred were Griquas, the remainder being aliens, Fin- 
gos, Basuto, Bacas, and others who had settled on 
ground given to him by Sir Philip Wodehouse. The 
demands made upon him by Mr. Orpen for assistance, 
first against the Pondos, and next against Langalibalele, 
showed him the anomalous position in which he was 
placed. He asked that he should either be recognised 
as an independent chief, or be granted the rights and 
privileges of a British subject. 

On the 16th of October 1874 Governor Sir Henry 
Barkly, who was making a tour through the territories, 
met the Griqua chief and the members of his council 
at Kokstad. Mr. Orpen, the British resident in Nomans- 
land, was with the governor. The question of Adam 
Kok's position was discussed, and a provisional agree- 
ment was made for the assumption of direct authority 
over the country by the colonial government. The 
official books and documents were transferred to Mr. 
Orpen by the Griqua secretary, and the territory was added 
by the governor to that already under the resident's 
charge, with the understanding that all existing institu- 
tions were to remain undisturbed for the time being. 

In February 1875 Messrs. Donald Strachan, who had 
been a magistrate under Adam Kok, and Mr. G. C. 
Brisley, secretary of the Griqua government, arrived in 
Capetown as representatives of the Griqua chief and 
people, and concluded the arrangements. Kok was to 

1875] Sir Henry Barkly. 35 

retain his title of chief, be paid a salary of £700 per 
annum, and have joint authority with a commissioner 
who should correspond directly with the secretary for 
native affairs. The members of the Griqua council were 
to receive small annuities, and all undisputed titles to 
land were to be confirmed. With these conditions all 
except a few lawless individuals were satisfied. Mr. 
Thomas A. Cumming, superintendent of Idutywa, was 
appointed acting commissioner, and assumed duty at 
Kokstad on the 25th of March 1875. Practically he 
carried on the government, as Kok left nearly everything 
in his hands. A petition against the change thus 
brought about was prepared by the disaffected party, but 
it only proved their weakness, for when forwarded to 
Capetown it contained no more than one hundred and 
thirty-one signatures. Adam Kok wrote to the colonial 
government, protesting against its being considered as of 
any importance, and stating that three-fourths of the 
signatures were those of persons who had neither 
position nor property of any kind in the country. 

The territory thus added to the British dominions is 
that comprised in the three districts of Umzimkulu, 
kokstad, and Matatiele. These districts were indeed 
formed ' under the Griqua government, and the same 
livisions continued to be recognised by the colonial 
authorities. Mr. Donald Strachan remained magistrate of 
Umzimkulu, an& Mr. Cumming performed the same 
duties at Kokstad. Matatiele was left for a time 
without a magistrate. In these districts there were 
besides the Griquas, the Basuto under Makwai, the 
Hlubis under Ludidi, the Hlangwenis under Sidoyi, and 
a great many other Bantu clans, all of whom expressed 
pleasure on becoming British subjects. 

On the 30th of December 1875 Adam Kok died. The 
nominal dual authority then ceased, as he had no 
successor. A few months later Captain Matthew Blyth 
was transferred from the Transkei to be chief magistrate 

36 History of the Cape Colony. [1876 

of the three Griqua districts, and assumed duty in 
March 1876, Mr. Cumming returning to Idutywa. On 
his arrival at Kokstad Captain BIyth found a rebellious 
spirit still existing among some of the Griquas, but as 
he was accompanied by a strong police force he had no 
difficulty in suppressing it. He placed two of the dis- 
affected men under arrest, and disarmed the others, after 
which there was no open display of sedition. 

He soon found that more serious danger was to be 
apprehended from the designs of Nehemiah Moshesh. That 
individual in 1875 had the assurance to bring his 
pretensions to the ownership of Matatiele by petition 
before the colonial parliament, and one of the objects of 
a commission appointed in that year was to investigate 
his claim. The commission consisted of Messrs. C. D. 
Griffith, governor's agent in Basutoland, S. A. Probart, 
member of the house of assembly, and T. A. Cumming, 
acting commissioner with Adam Kok. After a long and 
patient examination, these gentlemen decided that 
Nehemiah had forfeited any right he might ever have 
had through promises of Sir George Grey and Sir Philip 
Wodehouse to allow him to remain in Matatiele on good 
behaviour. Even before this decision was known he had 
been holding political meetings in the country, Mr. 
Open having permitted him again to take up his resi- 
dence in it, and now he was endeavouring to bring 
about union of the Bantu tribes in the territory, with 
the evident object of throwing off European control. 
There could be no such thing as contentment in the land 
while such an agitator was at liberty, and Captain Blyth 
therefore had him arrested. He was subsequently tried 
in King-Williamstown and acquitted, but his detention in 
the meantime enabled the authorities to carry out the 
law and maintain order. 

To the territory under Captain Blyth's administration was 
added in March 1876 the block of land between Matatiele, 
the Pondomsi country, and the Ponclp boundary line, since, 

1878] Sir Bartle Frere. 37 

called the district of Mount Frere, by the acceptance of 
the Bacas under Makaula as British subjects. This chief 
and his counsellors had been favourably reported on by the 
commission of 1875. The terms under which they became 
subjects were the usual ones : that in all civil and in 
petty criminal complaints suitors might bring their cases 
before the magistrate or the chief at their option, that 
there should be an appeal from the chief to the magis- 
trate, that important criminal cases were to be tried by the 
magistrate, that no charge of dealing in" witchcraft was 
to be entertained, that on every hut a yearly tax of 
ten shillings was to be paid, and that the chief was to 
receive a salary of £100 a year and his counsellors 
certain smaller annuities. Captain Blyth placed Sub- 
Inspector John Maclean, of the frontier armed and 
mounted police, in charge of Makaula's people until the 
arrival in May 1876 of the magistrate selected by the 
secretary for native affairs, Mr. J. H. Garner, son of a 
missionary who had lived with them for many years. 

No clan in the whole of the territories from the Kei 
to Natal afterwards gave greater satisfaction than the 
Bacas of Mount Frere. The reports from the magistrates 
were uniform as to their good conduct, and on several 
occasions they showed by their readiness to take the 
field with the colonial forces that they appreciated the 
advantages of British protection. Yet Makaula was a 
son of the ruthless freebooter Ncapayi, one of the most 
dreaded men of his time, so much has circumstance to 
do in moulding the character of a Bantu chief. He 
lived to a very advanced age, and died in September 

Early in 1878, while the colony was involved in war 
with the Xosas, the disaffected Griquas took up arms 
under Smith Pommer, a Hottentot from the Kat river, 
and Adam Muis, who had at one time been an official 
under Adam Kok. They were confident of receiving 
assistance from the Pondos under Umqikela, and there 

' 38 History of the Cape Cowny. [1878 

can be little doubt that if they had been successful at 
, first the whole Pondo army would have joined them. 

Smith Pommer visited Umqikela, and returned with 
ninety-three armed Pondos under command of Josiah 
Jenkins, a young man who had received a very good 
education, and who certainly knew what he was doing. 
He was a nephew of Umqikela, and when an infant 
had been given by Faku to the wife of the reverend 
Thomas Jenkins, who had brought him up and had him 
educated as if he was her own son. He spoke, read, 
and wrote English with as great fluency as if he had 
been English born and educated in London. He had 
given promise of becoming a useful man, had received an 
•excellent training in bookkeeping and correspondence at 
Lovedale, from his earliest childhood had been accus- 
tomed to live as a European of a good class, and was 
professedly a Christian. This young man, piqued because 
he could not at once occupy a position in society that 
a Caucasian would need many years of patient labour to 
attain, and puffed up with conceit on account of his 
birth as a grandson of Faku, had gone back from 
school to Pondoland with an imaginary grievance, and 
having failed to be recognised as eminent in an intel- 
lectual capacity, was now making himself known as a 
mischief maker. 

On the 11th of April the combined band of Pondos 
and Griquas under Jenkins and Pommer reached the 
farm of Mr. J. H. Acutt, about twelve miles east of 
Kokstad. They plundered the place, the Pondos using 
greater violence than the Griquas, and made prisoners of 
Mr. Acutt and a boy named Burton, whom they took 
away as hostages, but who were released by Pommer 
the same evening. The rebels then sent to Kokstad to 
demand the release of some men who were confined in 
the prison there, and when this was refused by Captain 
Blyth, they formed a camp under Adam Muis about 
two miles and a half from the village. 

878] Sir Bar tie Frere. 39 

Meantime Mr. Donald Strachan, magistrate of Umzim- 
kulu, had collected three hundred Hlangwenis, with 
whom he proceeded to Kokstad as rapidly as possible, 
and arrived there just in time. Sir Henry Bulwer, 
lieutenant-governor of Natal, was urgently requested to 
send assistance, and on the 14th of April two hundred 
and nineteen men of the third Buffs and fifty of the 
Natal mounted police left Maritzburg, but only arrived 
at Kokstad on the 22nd, too late to be of service. 

On Sunday the 14th of April Captain Blyth with 
the frontier armed and mounted policemen at his 
disposal, only twenty in number, a few European volun- 
teers, and a strong force of Sidoyi's Hlangwenis and 
Makaula's Bacas, attacked the rebel camp under Adam 
Muis. The Pondos under Josiah Jenkins now thought 
it better not to resist, and only five minutes before the 
actual fighting commenced they came out and sur- 
rendered. An apology was made for Josiah Jenkins that 
he had been sent by Umqikela to deliver Adam Muis 
to the chief magistrate, but that owing to his youth 
and inexperience he had blundered in carrying out his 
instructions, and this absurd excuse was accepted, as the 
colonial government was desirous of avoiding war with 
the Pondos. In the action that followed the Griquas were 
defeated with heavy loss, and their leader, Adam Muis, 
was killed. They retreated to the border of Natal, where 
they formed another camp, under Smith Pommer. 

During the night of the 15th the magazine at Kokstad 
exploded, no one ever knew from what cause, when five 
men and three women were killed and three men and 
one woman were more or less severely injured. This 
was a serious, but not an irreparable disaster, as for- 
tunately a sufficient number of cartridges were still on 
hand to enable operations to be carried on until a fresh 
supply could be obtained. 

On the 17th Captain Blyth attacked the rebel camp, 
which was in a very strong position on the border of 

40 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

Natal. The Griquas fought stubbornly until Smith 
Pommer and nineteen others were killed, when forty of 
them surrendered and the others dispersed. On Captain 
Blyth's side seven Hlangwenis and Bacas were killed, 
and twelve were wounded. Within the next four days 
fifty-three more insurgents were apprehended and com- 
mitted to prison, and the insurrection was entirely 

The districts of Umzimkulu, Kokstad, Matatiele, and 
Mount Frere remained under Captain Blyth's jurisdiction 
as chief magistrate until September 1878, when he 
returned to his former post in the Transkei, to which 
Galekaland was then added. Mr. Strachan continued to 
be magistrate at Umzimkulu, and Mr. Garner at Mount 
Frere. Mr. G. P. Stafford was stationed by Captain 
Blyth at Matatiele, and performed the duty of magistrate 
until August 1876, when Mr. M. W. Liefeldt was placed 
there. At Kokstad the chief magistrate resided. This 
arrangement was a continuation of the old order of 
things under Adam Kok, and was in accordance with 
the recommendation of the commission of 1875, which 
had been appointed to inquire into the affairs of the 
territory. When Captain Blyth left, Mr. C. P. Water- 
meyer was appointed acting chief magistrate, and held 
office until the 25th of the following December. 

The remainder of Nomansland, that is the territory 
between the Kenigha river and Tembuland, had at this 
time a population of about twenty-two thousand souls. 
In April 1875 Mr. Orpen resigned his appointment as 
British resident, and left the territory. His clerk, Mr. 
Frederick P. Gladwin, was then instructed to act until 
arrangements could be made for placing magistrates 
with the different clans that had been received as 
British subjects. 

Already one such magistrate had been appointed, to 
the Gatberg, thereafter known as the district of Maclear, 
but he had accidentally lost his life. Mr. J. K. Thomson 

1879] Sir Bar tie Frere. 41 

was then selected, and assumed duty in November 1875, 
when the people of Lehana, Lebenya, and Zibi were 
first called upon to pay hut tax. These clans were then 
giving little or no trouble. In 1878 Lebenya and Zibi 
gave some assistance against the rebel Baputi under 
Morosi, and the Batlokua of Lehana were hardly less 
active, though on that occasion the chief himself was 
not as zealous as he might have been. 

The next appointment was that of Mr. Matthew B. 
Shaw to the magistracy of the country occupied by 
Umhlonhlo's people, thereafter termed the district of 
Qumbu. Mr. Shaw assumed duty there in June 1876, 
and remained until July 1878, when he was succeeded 
by Mr. Hamilton Hope. 

Mr. Gladwin had then only Umditshwa's people in 
the district of Tsolo to act with. In September 1877 
Mr. A. E. Welsh was appointed magistrate with that 
chief, who had been giving considerable trouble. He 
was exceedingly jealous of any interference with his 
people, but was submissive enough in the presence of a 
force able to chastise him. This was shown in an 
almost ludicrous manner on one occasion, when a strong 
body of police happened to be near by in Tembuland. 
In 1878 he furnished a contingent of eight hundred 
men to assist against Stokw6, son of Tshali, but this 
was when Stokw6's cause was seen to be hopeless. 

These three districts, Maclear, Qumbu, and Tsolo, 
were not subject to the authority of the chief magistrate 
of Griqualand East until the close of 1878, when the 
consolidation of the different territories took place. Prior 
to that date each of the magistrates corresponded directly 
with the secretary for native affairs, and received in- 
structions from him. But upon the appointment of the 
honourable Charles Brownlee, who assumed duty as chief 
magistrate on the 25th of December 1878, the seven 
districts were united, and the title of Griqualand East 
was extended to the whole territory. 

42 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 75 

Thereafter the district of Kokstad was provided with a 
magistrate, so as to leave the head of the territory free 
to attend to more important matters than adjudicating in 
petty cases. Mr. George W. Hawthorn was appointed, 
and assumed duty on the 1st of January 1879. 

To this period the government had been acting in 
Griqualand East without any other authority from 
parliament than the allowance of the excess of expense 
incurred over revenue received. In 1873 the honourable 
Charles Brownlee, then secretary for native affairs, in a 
report upon his arrangement of terms of peace between 
Kreli and Gangelizwe, recommended the extension of 
colonial authority over the country ceded by Faku. This 
report was submitted to parliament, and a committee of 
the house of assembly was appointed to consider it, but did 
not conclude its labours before parliament was prorogued. 

In 1875 the subject was brought by the ministry 
before parliament, and a resolution was adopted by both 
houses declaring that it was " expedient that the country 
situated between the Umtata and the Umzimkulu, com- 
monly known as Nomansland, should be annexed to this 
colony, and that the government take such preliminary 
steps as may place it in a position to effect such annexa- 
tion." On the 30th of June in this year the governor in 
his prorogation speech announced that her Majesty's con- 
currence in the annexation of Nomansland had already 
been officially notified to him. In June 1876 letters 
patent were issued at Westminster, empowering the 
governor to proclaim the territory annexed to the Cape 
Colony, after the legislature had passed the requisite act. 
In 1877 an annexation act was passed by the Cape 
parliament, and on the 17th of September 1879 the 
measure was completed by the issue of the governor's 
proclamation, to have force from the first of the 
following month. 

The seven districts comprised in the chief magistracy 
of Griqualand East thus became part of the Cape 

1875] Sir Henry Barkly. 43 

Colony, but as their inhabitants were barbarians who 
could not be admitted to the full privileges or perform 
the whole duties of burghers, they were made subject to 
special legislation by the governor with the advice of the 
executive council. The proclamation of the 17th of 
September 1879 provided that all the laws then in force 
in the Cape Colony should become the laws of Griqua- 
land East, except in so far as they should be modified 
by certain regulations published at the same time. The 
territory was not represented in the Cape parliament, nor 
were acts of parliament passed after September 1879 in 
force there unless expressly extended to it in the acts 
themselves or by proclamation of the governor in 

The district of Idutywa and Fingoland, comprising the 
three districts of Tsomo, Nqamakwe, and Butterworth, 
^ere annexed to the Cape Colony at the same time and 
>y exactly the same routine of obtaining the sanction of 
the imperial authorities. 

Under Captain Blyth's able management the Fingos 
living in the territory between the Kei and Bashee 
rivers given to them by Sir Philip Wodehouse, having 
no hereditary chiefs of high rank over them, were 
making great strides in prosperity, and order was well 
maintained among them. They had already laid a tax 
upon themselves of £'1,500 towards the establishment of 
the industrial institution Blythswood in connection with 
the mission of the free church of Scotland, which 
amount they subsequently increased to £4,500. In 1874 
they and the people of the adjoining district of Idutywa 
of their own free will began to pay a hut tax of ten 
shillings a year to cover the cost of the administration 
by Europeans, though it was not yet legally established. 
In 1875 the ministry brought before the Cape parliament 
the question of the annexation of these territories, and 
the same proceedings were followed with regard to them 
as have been related concerning Griqualand East. 

44 History of the Cape Colony. [1875 

In March 1876 Captain Blyth was removed to Kokstad, 
and Mr. James Ayliff was placed in charge of Fingo- 
land, with the title of chief magistrate. In September 
1877 Mr. T. P. Pattle was stationed at Butter worth as 
assistant magistrate, and in October of the same year 
Mr. F. P. Gladwin was stationed at Tsomo in the same 
capacity. Nqamakwe was not provided with a magistrate 
at this time. In February 1878 Mr. T. B. Merriman 
was appointed magistrate of Iduty wa. 

In 1875 the Tembu tribe was brought into a condition 
of great difficulty by the conduct of its chief. Among 
his concubines there was a Galeka woman, an illegitimate 
niece of Kreli, who had accompanied the great wife as 
an attendant when she went to Tembuland, and re- 
mained there ever since. Gangelizwe in a fit of passion 
inflicted very severe injuries upon this woman, and two 
days later ordered a young man named Ndevu to break 
her skull with a kerie. The murder was committed on 
the 25th of July 1875. On the 27th the chief's 
messenger reported at the residency that the woman had 
been four days ill with headache and pain in the side. 
On the 29th Mr. William Wright, who in May 1873 
had succeeded Mr. Chalmers as resident with Gangelizwe, 
was informed that she had died. For some months 
previous to the murder it was known that the woman 
was undergoing brutal treatment, and once it was 
rumoured that she was dead. Kreli then sent messengers 
to request that she might be allowed to visit her 
relatives, but the resident could not induce Gangelizwe 
either to consent to this or to permit the messengers to 
see her. 

Gangelizwe's residence, where the murder was com- 
mitted, was in the neighbourhood of the ground occupied 
by the Fingo chief Menziwe, who was a Tembu vassal. 
That chief, apprehending that war with the Galekas 
would be the immediate consequence, declared publicly 
that he would remain neutral. This declaration so 

1875] Sir Henry Barkly. 45 

irritated Gangelizwe that he prepared to attack Menziwe, 
who thereupon fled with his people to Idutywa and 
asked for protection from Mr. J. H. Garner, who during 
Mr. Cumming's absence was acting there as superinten- 
dent. On the 5th of August Menziwe's women and 
cattle crossed the Bashee into Idutywa, and were 
followed by the warriors of the clan, six hundred in 
number, who were pursued to the river's edge by a 
Tembu army. 

Kreli was induced on this occasion, as at the time of 
his daughter's ill treatment, to refer the matter to the 
Cape government, and the residents with the two chiefs, 
Messrs. J. Ayliff and W. Wright, were instructed to 
hold an investigation. The inquiry took place at Idutywa, 
in the presence of four representatives sent by each of 
the chiefs. Umbande, son of Menziwe, who had been 
one of Gangelizwe's most confidential advisers, was the 
principal witness. After taking evidence, Messrs. Ayliff 
and Wright found there was no doubt of Gangelizwe's 
guilt, whereupon the governor inflicted upon him a fine 
of two hundred head of cattle and JG100 in money. 

If the murdered woman had been a Tembu probably 
nothing more would have been heard of the matter. 
But she was a Galeka, and the people of her tribe, 
who were not satisfied with Gangelizwe's punishment 
which they thought should have been much heavier, 
seemed resolved to avenge her death. Commandant 
Bowker was therefore instructed to enter Tembuland 
with a strong body of the frontier armed and mounted 
police, reinstate Menziwe, the Fingo chief whom Gange- 
lizwe had driven away, and prevent hostilities by the 
Galekas. On the 14th of September the police crossed 
the Bashee for this purpose with Menziwe's clan. 

Gangelizwe and his subordinate chiefs then did as they 
had done once before in a time of difficulty : they 
offered to place their country and their tribe under the 
control of the Cape government. On the 28th of 

46 History of the Cape Colony. [1876 

October 1875 the terms of the cession, as drawn up in 
writing by the reverend Peter Hargreaves on behalf of 
the Tembus, were discussed with Commandant Bowker 
and Mr. Wright at a meeting held at Clarkebury, at 
which all the chiefs of note in Tembuland Proper, except 
Dalasile, head of the Kwati clan, were present. 

The Tembus proposed that Gangelizwe and fourteen 
heads of clans, who were named, should be recognised 
by the colonial government as chiefs, and that salaries, 
the amounts of which were mentioned, should be paid to 
them; that hut tax should not be payable until 1878; 
that the boundaries of the country should remain as 
previously fixed ; that the chiefs should retain judicial 
authority over their people, except in cases of certain 
specified crimes, and subject to appeal to magistrates ; 
that the government of the mission stations should not 
be interfered with; that the Fingo chief Menziwe should 
be removed to a locality which was named; and that 
the sale of spirituous liquors to black people should 
be prohibited. These proposals were forwarded to the 
governor, and were agreed to, with the sole exception 
that Gangelizwe could not be recognised as a chief, 
though a salary of £200 would be paid to him yearly. 

On the 10th of December another meeting of the 
chiefs and people took place at Emjanyana, when Com- 
mandant Bowker announced officially that the country 
and people had been taken over on the above terms, 
and that Mr. S. A. Probart would shortly be sent as a 
special commissioner to conclude the arrangements. At 
this meeting proposals were made on behalf of Dalasile 
to come under the Cape government, and were agreed 
to by Commandant Bowker. 

The conditions were that his people should not be 
mixed with others, but should have a separate magis- 
trate ; that he should receive a salary of £100 a year ; 
and a few others similar to those under which Gange- 
lizwe's immediate adherents were taken over. 

1877] Sir Bartle Frere. .. 47 

A few days later Mr. Probart, who was then a 
member of the house of assembly, arrived in Tembuland. 
On the 24th of December he announced at a great 
meeting at Emjanyana that the government had ratified 
everything that Commandant Bowker had done. The 
conditions of the cession, as proposed by the Tembu 
chiefs, were agreed to, except that Gangelizwe must be 
deprived of all authority ; but the commissioner added 
that it would depend upon the manner in which he 
should conduct himself whether at some future time he 
might not be entrusted by the government with power in 
his own section of the tribe. Dalasile was not present 
at this meeting, but on the 31st Mr. Probart met 
him at All Saints mission, informed him that the agree- 
ment made between him and Commandant Bowker was 
ratified, and asked him if he and his people were still 
of the same mind as to coming under the Cape govern- 
ment. Dalasile requested to be allowed an hour for 
consideration. After consultation with his counsellors, he 
then explained that what he desired was that he should 
come under the government himself, but retain the sole 
control of his people. All complaints, he thought, should 
be made to him, and the magistrate should have only 
joint power of settlement. Mr. Probart explained that 
this was not the meaning of the conditions agreed to, 
and after some argument Dalasile promised to adhere to 
his original proposals. That from the very first, how- 
ever, this chief had no real intention of surrendering 
any authority over the people of his clan is shown by 
the circumstance that he never drew the salary to which 
he was entitled under the conditions of cession. 

In this manner Tembuland Proper became a portion 
of the British dominions. The special commissioner sub- 
mitted proposals to the government for the division of 
the territory into judicial districts, which were acted 
upon at once, and in 1876 the magistracies of Emjanyana, 
Engcobo, Umtata, and Mqanduli were created. 

48 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 77 

In the first of these, Emjanyana, was the residence of 
the former agent, Mr. Wright, and he was left there as 
magistrate with the additional title and authority of 
chief magistrate of Tembuland Proper. 

In the second, Engcobo, was the site selected for the 
office of the magistrate with Dalasile's people. In April 
1876 Mr. Walter E. Stanford was stationed there as 

In the third, Umtata, the seat of magistracy quickly 
became the most important town in the whole territory 
between the Kei and Natal. Major J. F. Boyes assumed 
duty there as magistrate in April 1876. 

The fourth district, Mqanduli,' bordered on the coast. 
In August 1876 the reverend John H. Scott, previously 
a Wesleyan missionary, was stationed there as 

The few European farmers in the territory remained 
on the same conditions as before, except that they were 
required to pay the annual rent to the Cape government 
instead of to Gangelizwe. 

It was soon discovered that the power of Gangelizwe 
could not easily be set aside. The European govern- 
ment, the magistrates, and some of the alien clans 
might ignore him, but the clans of pure Tembu blood 
would not. All their national traditions, their ideas of 
patriotism, their feelings of pride, prompted them to be 
loyal to him. Stronger still than any of these motives 
was their religion. The belief of the Bantu is firm that 
the spirits of the dead chiefs hold the destinies of the 
tribes in their keeping. To renounce allegiance to the 
chief, the descendant and representative of those to 
whose spirits they offer sacrifices and whose wrath they 
dread as the greatest calamity that can overtake them, 
is in the Bantu way of thinking the most enormous of 
crimes. The magistrates encountered such difficulties in 
governing the people, owing to their sullen demeanour 
and continual complaints of the degradation to which their 

1877] Sir Bartle Frere. 49 

chief was subjected, that at the close of 1876 it was 
considered necessary to restore Gangelizwe to his former 
rank and to treat him as the highest Bantu official in 
the country. 

Several years elapsed before the four districts of 
Tembuland Proper were formally annexed to the Cape 
Colony in the same way as the eleven previously men- 
tioned, but they were treated in exactly the same 
manner, and the same laws and regulations were applied 
to them all. 

In August 1877, when the outbreak of the war took 
place, an account of which will be given in the next 
chapter, the greater part of the territory between the 
river Kei and Natal had thus been brought under the 
government of the Cape Colony, only Emigrant Tembu- 
land, Galekaland, Bomvanaland, the Xesibe district, and 
Pondoland remaining independent. 

On the 31st of March 1877 Sir Henry Barkly was 
succeeded as governor of the Cape Colony and high 
commissioner for South Africa by the right honourable 
Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere. The new governor was 
a man of great talents, and in India had performed 
eminent service to the empire, so that the colonists felt 
flattered by his appointment. He had been selected by 
Lord Carnarvon on account of the suavity of his 
manners, as well as his universally acknowledged abilities, 
to carry out the project of confederation, which was a 
favourite idea of the English ministry. At Lord Carnar- 
von's instance an act had been passed by the imperial 
parliament to enable the colonies and states of South 
Africa to unite under one government and legislature, 
for he had not yet realised that the condition of things 
at the time made such union impossible. The task 
allotted to Sir Bartle Frere was one that no man who 
ever lived could accomplish, and it does not detract in 
the least from his reputation that he failed to carry it 


50 History of the Cape Colony. L l8 77 

One of his first acts in the colony was the opening 
on the 5th of April of an international exhibition in 
Capetown, which was due to the enterprise of an Italian, 
Signor Cagli. The building was erected in the garden of 
the masonic lodge De Goede Hoop, and was constructed of 
wood, galvanised iron, and glass. It was one hundred 
and eighty-four feet long, seventy-eight feet wide, and 
fifty-six feet high. The show of South African products 
was decidedly poor, the best exhibit being some furniture 
made at Lovedale; but European manufacturers sent 
farm machinery, steam engines, and many other articles 
in great variety, so that the exhibition served a very 
useful purpose. The building itself, which was afterwards 
used as an assembly hall and a theatre, was the cause 
of a big disaster. On Sunday the 21st of February 1892 
it caught fire, and being like matchwood burnt with 
great rapidity. The nearest buildings, — the lodge De 
Goede Hoop and the office of the native affairs depart- 
ment, — though their walls were unusually solid, were soon 
alight, and were utterly destroyed. 

On the 1st of January 1876 the Cape Copper Mining 
Company's line of railway from Port Nolloth was com- 
pleted to Ookiep, where the richest mine in Little 
Namaqualand was being worked. The % district is so 
secluded, however, that this event had no effect on the 
remainder of the colony. 

It was very different with the lines being constructed 
by the government, which were already beginning to 
facilitate intercourse between the interior and the sea- 
ports. On the 1st of May 1877 the line from East 
London was opened to King- Williamst own, and on the 
12th of November of the same year the branch of the 
western line was completed and opened to Malmesbury. 
By the close of 1877 the heavy work and tunnels in the 
River kloof had been completed, and the main 
western line had reached Matjesfontein, deep in the 
karoo. The midland line was advancing rapidly from 

1876] Sir Henry Barkly. * 51 

Port Elizabeth towards Graaff-Keinet, and the line from 
the Bushman's river to Grahamstown — provided for by 
parliament in July 1876 — was making good progress. 

In the session of 1877— 25th May to 8th August- 
provision was made by the Cape parliament for the con- 
struction of a massive bridge over the Kei river, on the 
main road leading from King-Williamstown to Umtata, 
and the work was commenced immediately. Provision 
was also made for the construction of a line of 
telegraph from Komgha by way of Umtata and Kokstad 
to Maritzburg in Natal, and this was also taken in 
hand without delay. An important act of this session 
was one to promote irrigation by farmers, and thus to 
increase the productive power of the country. 

Three new magisterial districts were created on the 
eastern border at this time. In February 1877 a magis- 
trate was stationed at Cathcart, in November of the same 
year one was stationed at Stutterheim, and in December 
one was stationed at Komgha. 

Owing to the war with the Xosas, it became necessary 
at the close of 1877 to send instructions to the emigra- 
tion agent in London not to give free passages to more 
people than those already engaged, until the restoration 
of tranquillity. Since November 1873 he had then sent 
out five thousand five hundred and fifty-three men, but 
only eight hundred and twenty women and nine hundred 
and sixty-six children. Owing to the disproportion of the 
sexes, many of the men returned to Europe as soon 
as the engagements expired that they had entered into 
before coming out, still the colony was a considerable 



The district which was restored to Kreli in 1864, and 
thereafter termed Galekaland, embraced the territory be- 
tween the Kei and Bashee rivers, from Fingoland and 
Idutywa to the sea. Owing to the policy of the British 
authorities that had been in force for many years, to 
contract the realm abroad as much as possible in order 
to avoid responsibility, — a policy now happily almost 
entirely reversed, — more than by the choice of their chief, 
the Galekas remained independent, and the colonial officer 
stationed with them merely performed duties similar to 
those of a consul, without interfering in any way with 
their government. In May 1873 Mr. William Fynn was 
succeeded as resident with Kreli by Mr. James Ayliff, 
who was transferred to Fingoland in March 1876. The 
clerk, Mr. West Fynn, then acted as resident until 
November 1876, when Colonel John T. Eustace received 
the appointment. 

At the time when Colonel Eustace became resident 
with Kreli there was a general feeling of uneasiness 
throughout the eastern frontier districts of the Cape 
Colony. The Earabe clans of the Xosa tribe had been 
arming, they were stealing from the farmers on an un- 
precedented scale, and their tone and bearing indicated 
that a collision might easily take place. 

Kreli at that time had some twelve thousand warriors 
at his command, without counting those of the kindred 
Earabe clans west of the Kei, who, though they were 
British subjects, still venerated him as their head. Maki 


i»77] The Ninth Kaffir War. 53 

his former chief counsellor, a moderate and sensible 
man, whose weight was always on the side of quietness, 
had been accused of being a sorcerer, and had been 
compelled to flee for safety to Idutywa, where he placed 
himself under British protection. His post was then 
filled by Ngubo, the head of an important clan and a 
near relative of the paramount chief, whose strongest 
feeling was one of bitter hostility to the white man. 

I The Galeka section of the Xosa tribe, living east of 
the Kei, had increased until the territory, which in 
1864 was more than ample for all its requirements, was 
considered by it too small, and not unnaturally covetous 
eyes were cast over the Fingo border to the land that 
in former years had been Galeka property and that was 
then occupied by the people whom they had once 
regarded as their dogs. On their side the Fingos were 
never tired of taunting the Galekas by reminding them 
of the changed condition of the two peoples since 1834, 
so that the old animosity was kept up, and instances of 
friendly intercourse were rare. 

A circumstance which weakened the Galekas was the 
very bad feeling that then existed between Kreli and his 
cousin Mapasa, a chief of high rank and considerable 
power. Mapasa was the great son of Buku, who was 
son and heir to the right hand house of Kawuta. In 
such a condition of things the least rumour, however 
unfounded, is capable of causing alarm among a people 
so unprotected as the colonists of the frontier districts 
then were. The panic of 1876 indeed passed away, but 
a general sense of insecurity remained. 

On the 3rd of August 1877 there was a marriage feast 
at a Fingo kraal just within the boundary separating 
their district from Galekaland, and two petty chiefs of 
Mapasa's clan, by name Umxoli and Fihla, with nine or 
ten attendants crossed over to partake in the festivities. 
On such occasions custom demands that every one of 
superior or equal rank that presents himself is to be 


History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 77 

made welcome. Usually too there is a combat between 
young men desirous of displaying their prowess before 
the company, and hard blows from keries are given and 
taken without loss of temper. A young man covered 
with welts would be disgraced by complaining, instead 
of doing so he puts on a smiling face and says he 
never had such fun in his life before. But it was very 
different at this marriage feast in Fingoland in August 
1877. Late in the evening, when all were excited by 
dancing and beer drinking, a quarrel arose, no one was 
afterwards able to tell exactly how or why, and even 
the evidence as to what followed is most conflicting. At 
any rate the Galekas were ranged on one side and the 
Fingos, who greatly outnumbered them, on the other, 
and they used their keries so freely that one Galeka 
was killed and the two chiefs were badly bruised. The 
visitors were then driven over the border to their own 

Three days later four large parties of Mapasa's Galekas, 
who had in the meantime mustered with the intention 
of avenging the insult offered to their friends, crossed 
the little stream that formed the boundary of Fingoland, 
and swept off the stock belonging to several kraals along 
the line, consisting of one hundred and forty head of 
horned cattle and six hundred sheep and goats. Colonel 
Eustace was absent at the time, but his clerk, Mr. 
West Fynn, on hearing what had occurred, proceeded 
immediately to the border, which was only about eight 
miles or thirteen kilometres from the residency, and 
pointed out to the Galekas that they were doing wrong. 
Mapasa, whose retainers the raiders were, admitted that 
they were in fault, and promised that the captured 
cattle should be restored, which, however, was only 
partly carried into effect. As always happens in such 
cases, some of the animals that were seized had been 
slaughtered at once and eaten, others had strayed away 
and could not be. found, and no one was willing to 

1877J The Ninth Kaffir War. 55 

make good the number deficient after those that were 
left were delivered to their owners. 

Kreli was then appealed to, who threw the whole 
blame of the occurrence upon Mapasa, and ordered the 
full restoration of the captured stock of the Fingos, but 
took no steps to enforce his order. Possibly he was 
unable to do so, for passion was running so high on 
>oth sides that no order, not given by him directly 
in person, was likely to be obeyed. Mr. Ayliff, the 
representative of the government with the Fingos, had 
>y this time arrived at the scene of the disturbance, 
and was doing his utmost to restore order, but could 
accomplish little more than restraining the people under 
his charge from massing in a body with arms in their 
hands ready for war. 

A number of petty acts of hostility now took place, 
one party being to blame as much as the other, though 
each man endeavoured to screen himself before the 
British officials. Upon the whole, however, it was easier 
to obtain redress for misconduct from the Fingos than 
from the Galekas, because they were directly subject to 
the control of magistrates. 

Information of the condition of affairs was sent by 
telegraph to Capetown, when Colonel Eustace was 
directed to demand from Kreli complete restoration of 
the stock seized by the Galekas, and he and Mr. Ayliff 
were instructed to make a close inquiry into the origin 
of the disturbance. One hundred and fifty men of the 
frontier armed and mounted police were sent across the 
Kei to guard the Fingo border and prevent raids from 
either side, and Mr. Brownlee, the secretary for native 
affairs, prepared to visit the Transkei and endeavour to 
arrange matters peaceably. 

Owing to the events in Natal and in the Transvaal, 
that will be related in succeeding chapters, the number 
of British soldiers in South Africa at this time was 
unusually large. In January 1875 the first battalions of 

56 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 77 

the thirteenth and twenty-fourth regiments arrived to 
relieve the seventy-fifth and eighty-sixth, which in 
February left to return home. In November 1876 the 
second battalion of the third regiment (known as the 
Buffs) arrived. It came out in a chartered transport 
named the Saint Lawrence, which was wrecked on the 
9th of November on Paternoster Point, about ninety 
miles or one hundred and forty kilometres north of 
Table Bay. Fortunately no lives were lost, and on 
tidings of the disaster reaching the naval authorities in 
Simonstown some men-of-war were sent to the scene of 
the wreck and brought the regiment to Capetown. In 
March and April 1877 the eightieth regiment arrived from 
Singapore, The third and the eightieth were intended to 
relieve the thirteenth and the twenty-fourth, but owing 
to the condition of affairs in Natal and the Transvaal, 
these regiments were retained here for a time instead of 
being sent home. In July 1877 the eighty-eighth 
regiment arrived from Ireland, and in August the wing 
of the thirty-second left for England. There were thus 
five full battalions in South Africa at the time. The 
eighty-eighth, 760 strong, was in Capetown, the thir- 
teenth, 805 strong, was in the Transvaal, the eightieth, 
930 strong, and the third, 563 strong, were in Natal, 
and the twenty-fourth, 872 strong, was stationed in 
King-Williamstown to be ready for emergencies and to 
prevent the spread of uneasiness that was prevalent 
among the farmers in that neighbourhood. There were 
also scattered about in the command some two hundred 
artillerymen and engineers, making four thousand one 
hundred and thirty officers and men of the imperial 
forces in this country. 

On the night of the 24th of August a band of 
Galekas crossed the border into Fingoland, and an en- 
counter took place close to Butterworth, when twenty- 
four Galekas and several Fingos were killed. Colonel 
Eustace, Mr. Ayliff, and Inspector Chalmers were 

i»77] The Ninth Kafir War. 57 

endeavouring to induce both sides to disperse, but 
could not prevent skirmishing and loss of life. 

On the 18th of August Sir Bartle Frere, accompanied 
by Mr. J. X. Merriman, commissioner of crown lands 
and public works, left Capetown to- visit the frontier 
districts, and ascertain by personal observation the con- 
dition of things there. He expected to be absent from 
the seat of government only a few weeks, but it was 
many months before he saw his family again. On the 
4th of September he arrived in King-Williamstown, and 
found that place so crowded with families of farmers 
that had fled there for protection, owing to the appre- 
hension of a general rising of the Rarabe clans, that the 
only accommodation he could get for himself and his 
attendants was in the military barracks. Matters were 
becoming worse and worse over the Kei, so the first 
battalion of the twenty-fourth regiment, commanded by 
Lieutenant-Colonel R. T. Glynn, was dispersed at 
different points on the western side of the river, to 
prevent a raid by the Galekas into the colony. A 
message was then sent to Kreli that the government 
would hold him responsible for any breach of the peace, 
and expected him to cause his people to refrain from 
acts of lawlessness. 

At this critical time Commandant James Henry Bowker, 
who for more than seven years had been head of the 
frontier armed and mounted police, was obliged by ill 
health to resign, and in all haste Mr. Charles Duncan 
Griffith, who was then governor's agent in Basutoland, 
was sent for to succeed him, as being the officer of 
most experience in the force. 

The governor now resolved to proceed to the Transkei, 
and endeavour to restore tranquillity by his presence, as 
among Bantu a great chief can often effect wonders by his 
word alone. On the 15th of September, accompanied by 
the honourable Messrs. Merriman and Brownlee, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Glynn, the honourable W. Littleton, his private 

58 History of the Cape Colony. [1877 

secretary, and Lieutenant Hodson, acting aide-de-camp, he 
reached Butterworth, where Colonel Eustace, Mr. Ayliff, 
Inspector Chalmers, several other Europeans, two of 
Kreli's principal counsellors, who 'were subsequently joined 
by two of the chief's own sons, two of his nephews, and 
several other counsellors, and a great number of Fingos 
had assembled to meet him. The Fingos all declared 
their perfect loyalty, and promised to obey implicitly any 
orders he might choose to give them. He then sent a 
friendly message to Kreli, inviting that chief to meet 
him and discuss matters, so as to restore order and 
harmony. Kreli, however, shrank from meeting the 
governor, though he said, and probably with truth, that 
he was very anxious for peace. It was believed that he 
feared the fate of his father Hintsa if he should present 
himself, but probably the excitement of his warriors, 
who were entirely under the influence of his son 
Sigcawu and of his counsellor Ngubo, was then so great 
that he could not do anything in direct opposition to 
their wishes, and they would have regarded his going to 
meet the governor with the utmost disfavour. They were 
prepared to lay down their lives for him, but then they 
expected him to act with what they held to be the 
dignity of an independent chief, and not go like a 
hound because a white man called him. 

Mr. Brownlee, who was very well acquainted with 
him personally, then rode over to his residence, and re- 
mained overnight there in Colonel Eustace's quarters, but 
the chief declined the invitation to meet him. Nothing 
further could be done to bring about an interview, so 
after a stay of four days at Butterworth the governor 
returned to King-Williamstown. 

The district of Idutywa was found to be in a con- 
dition of utter lawlessness. Its population was more 
mixed than that of any other district in Kaffraria, and 
each of the little clans was opposed to all the others. 
Mr. Cumming had no control over any of them, so he 

1877] The Ninth Kaffir War. 59 

retired from his unpleasant post, and Inspector Chalmers, 
who was in command of the police camp at Ibeka 
in the south-western angle of the district, with Fingo- 
land close by on one side and Galekaland equally near 
on the other, was instructed to perform the additional 
duty of magistrate. 

On the 23rd of September, on account of Kreli's plain 
declaration to Colonel Eustace that he was unable to 
restrain his warriors from attacking the Fingos, though 
he hoped to preserve peace with the white people, the 
resident withdrew to the police station at Ibeka, and 
further negotiation was abandoned. The traders in the 
country and the missionaries were warned that they 
should withdraw to places of safety without further 
delay, and all of them except Mr. John Barnett at 
Ibeka, where the police camp was, did so. 

Two days later notice was given to the farmers west 
of the Kei that military posts had been established for 
their protection at Komgha, Impetu, the Kei mouth, and 
two other places. Beyond the Kei police posts were 
formed at Toleni and Idutywa, which with the one at 
Ibeka would serve the same purpose. All the Bantu 
labourers engaged on the bridge over the Kei had 
deserted, but the European workmen were still there, 
and they were now supplied with arms and a position 
impregnable to barbarians without cannon was formed. 
The railway from East London was open as far as the 
Kabusi river, and the stations and platelayers' cottages 
along it had been constructed with a view of being used 
for defensive purposes, so that there was no lack of 
places of protection. There was now no longer a doubt 
that war had commenced, and Kreli acknowledged it in 
a chivalrous manner by sending some of his own sons 
and three hundred warriors to escort Mr. West Fynn 
with his family and the missionaries in his country, the 
reverend Messrs. Dewar and Leslie, with theirs, to a 
place of safety. 

60 History of the Cape Colony. [1877 

Mapasa, with whose people the war originated, at this 
stage abandoned the cause of his tribe, crossed the Kei 
hurriedly, and asked the colonial government for protec- 
tion. A portion of his clan followed him, but many of 
his best warriors, led by his nephew Kiva, a daring and 
very popular chieftain, joined Kreli's army. Those who 
adhered to Mapasa were sent to reside temporarily on 
some vacant land west of the Kei, where it was found 
that they numbered four thousand three hundred and 
fifteen individuals of both sexes and all ages. Mapasa 
had with him five thousand four hundred head of horned 
cattle, but of these he was required to deliver five 
hundred to make good the damage his people had done 
to the Fingos. A European officer was stationed with 
him, and his people gave no trouble. 

To this time the Galekas had constantly asserted that 
they were making war upon the Fingos only, and had 
no wish to molest Europeans, but on the 26th of 
September an army five thousand strong crossed the 
border and had an encounter with the mounted police 
under Inspector Chalmers at Gwadana a few miles east 
of Ibeka in the Idutywa district. Mr. Chalmers had 
eighty European police and .fifteen hundred Fingos with 
him. The police were men of a different stamp from 
those who had done . such excellent service under Sir 
Walter Currie in earlier days. They were mainly boys 
recruited in England, and were without that experience 
in riding and shooting and skirmishing with Kaffirs that 
the young colonists of the former force invariably had. 
As far as education from books was concerned they were 
decidedly superior, but they were ignorant of all the 
devices necessary in South African warfare for main- 
taining their horses and themselves in good condition. 
Eighty of Sir Walter Currie's men would have faced a 
Galeka army with almost a certainty of success, but 
eighty of the as yet untrained lads who had taken their 
places could not be regarded as a force of much 

1877] The Ninth Kaffir War. 61 

strength. The carriage of Inspector Chalmers' only field- 
gun broke down, when the Fingos dispersed, and he 
was obliged to fall back to his camp at Ibeka. Sub- 
Inspector Von Hohenan and six privates fell in this 
action, and it was believed that about two hundred 
Galekas were killed. 

On the 27th of September the residency at Idutywa 
was abandoned, when the traders and missionaries in 
the district retired to Blythswood, the industrial institu- 
tion of the free church of Scotland near Nqamakwe, in 
Fingoland. On the 29th the police camp at Ibeka, 
where Commandant Griffith was then in command of 
one hundred and eighty Europeans and two thousand 
Fingos, was attacked by a Galeka army variously esti- 
mated from seven to ten thousand strong. On this 
occasion three seven-pounder guns were brought into 
action, and caused great loss of life when directed upon 
dense masses of the assailants. A girl who was believed 
to have communication with the spirit world had 
directed them not to attack in loose formation, but in 
masses close together, and they carried out her instruc- 
tions, for she assured them of victory if they would do 
so. The battle commenced at three o'clock in the 
afternoon, and the Galekas, though often stunned by the 
cannon fire and the discharge of the snider rifles of the 
police, rushed on again and again from different direc- 
tions. It was getting dusk when the seer was struck 
by a ball and fell dead, and then the courage of the 
warriors failed them. The Fingos* in two bands 
gallantly led by Sub-Inspector Allan Maclean and the 
headman Veldman, charged, and the Galekas retired 
from the field. Their loss had been very heavy, but 
only six Fingos were killed, and one white man and six 
Fingos were wounded. 

The Galekas, however, were not altogether discomfited, 
and at daybreak the next morning, the 30th of September, 
they attacked again from another direction. On this 

62 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 77 

occasion they were less persevering, for on the Fingos 
under Allan Maclean, supported by sixty of the mounted 
police, advancing to meet them, they turned and fled. 
They were pursued for half an hour, and several were 

A little later reinforcements of police and volunteers 
from different parts of the colony began to arrive, and 
before the end of the first week in October Colonel 
Griffith found himself in command of five hundred and 
eighty mounted policemen, six hundred and twenty volun- 
teer cavalry, and three hundred and seventy volunteer 
infantry. On the 3rd of October Major Elliot arrived 
with a Tembu contingent, and a large Fin go force 
under Mr. James Ayliff was also in the field. 

In August 1877 Major Henry G. Elliot succeeded Mr. 
Wright as chief magistrate of Tembuland Proper, and 
when war with the Galekas commenced, he called upon 
the people under his charge to take up arms for the 
government. In the district of Mqanduli the magistrate, 
Mr. Scott, succeeded in raising a force of some strength, 
but in the other districts there was no response to the 
call Not a single individual of any clan under Dalasile" 
came forward to aid the government. Stokwe, son of 
Tshali, who resided in Maxongo's Hoek at the base of 
the Drakensberg, joined the enemy. He was the head 
of a small alien clan called the Amavundle, and had 
not many fighting men, so that his defection was a 
matter of little importance. All the rest of the tribe 
waited for the word of Gangelizwe. Fortunately that 
chief had sufficient sagacity to see that an opportunity 
had occurred for him to secure the favour of the govern- 
ment. He declared himself a loyal subject of the queen, 
and took the field with Major Elliot. At once, as if by 
magic, the attitude of the people changed. From all 
sides they came in to join their chief, and thereafter 
rendered valuable assistance. Dalasile was fined a 
hundred head of cattle for not complying with the 


The Ninth Kaffir War. 


orders of the chief magistrate, and finding himself 
exposed to Gangelizwe's resentment if he did not pay, 
he submitted without giving trouble. 

On the 5th of October, while preparations for an 
advance into Galekaland were being made, a procla- 
mation was issued by Governor Sir Bartle Frere, in 
which Kreli was declared to be deposed from all power 
and authority as a chief. This meant that the European 
government would no longer treat him as a potentate, 
but would regard him merely as an ordinary Kaffir. But 
as far as his own Galekas, or indeed any members of 
the Bantu family east or west of the Kei, were concerned, 
such a proclamation was without meaning. In their 
opinion no power but death could deprive him of the 
right to which he was born, and so the notice had no 
effect upon them. But, notwithstanding this, it was 
a most important measure. By it Kreli's country was 
taken from him and was reserved for disposal as the 
queen should direct, and pending instructions from the 
imperial authorities, it was to be ruled directly by 
officers appointed by the government of the Cape Colony. 
This proclamation was approved of by the secretary of 
state for the colonies in a despatch of the 14th of 
November following, and was the basis upon which the 
administration of Galekaland for several years rested. 

The war had burst suddenly upon the government, 
and found the country unprepared for it. There was 
no system in force for providing supplies of food for 
combatants in the field, or for transport, or for the 
control of volunteers. The frontier armed and mounted 
police, about eleven hundred strong, was the only force 
ready for action at the disposal of the ministry, and it 
was quite insufficient to do all the work required. The 
old burgher organisation was no longer adapted to the 
needs of the time. 

Under these circumstances it was fortunate that there 
was a British regiment of the line on the frontier to 

64 History of the Cape Co tony. L l8 77 

guard various positions of protection, and that the 
governor himself, two members of the ministry, and the 
general commanding the imperial troops happened all to 
be in King-Williamstown, the base of operations, where 
they could devise and carry out the best measures 
possible. It was arranged that Lieutenant-General Sir 
Arthur Cunynghame should have command of the 
frontier armed and mounted police, the volunteers, the 
burghers, and the coloured levies, as well as of the im- 
perial troops, in order to secure uniformity of action ; 
that Lieutenant-Colonel E. T. Glynn, of the first battalion 
of the twenty-fourth regiment, should have direct com- 
mand of the forces west of the Kei, and that Commandant 
— now styled Colonel — Griffith should have direct command 
of all the forces operating in the country east of the 
Kei. This meant that Colonel Griffith was to direct his 
reports to General Cunynghame, from whom he would 
receive intimations, but the colonial forces would be 
entirely under his command. 

Mounted volunteers were to receive five shillings a 
day with rations for themselves and their horses, foot- 
men four shillings a day with rations, and officers 
according to their rank. They were also to have prize 
money when cattle were captured. 

Colonel Griffith stationed Major Elliot at Idutywa with 
full magisterial power in that district, and with him 
were three thousand Tembus under Gangelizwe to 
support his authority and defend the district in case 
it should be again invaded by the Galekas. They lived 
largely upon maize taken from the store pits of the 
enemy, so that their maintenance cost but little. 

On the 9th of October Colonel Griffith surprised Kreli's 
great place and burnt it, together with the kraals of 
Sigcawu and many others. Sigcawu was Kreli's son of 
highest rank, and was one of the leaders of the war 
party. He was not a man of great intelligence, but was 
regarded by his people as being a skilful strategist, and 

1877] The Ninth Kaffir War. 65 

had his name (meaning the great spider) given to him 
from his plan of attack in an engagement with the 
Tembus in October 1872. The destruction of his kraal 
was the first reverse he ever sustained. 

Colonel Griffith's plan of operations was that from 
each of his posts a party should march, and all join at 
the great place, as the residence of an important chief 
is termed. It was a little over six miles or about ten 
kilometres from Ibeka. At daybreak he left the camp 
with two troops of the mounted police, under Inspector 
David Hook, two field guns, under Captain Kobinson, 
and a body of King-Williamstown burghers under Com- 
mandant Bertram Bowker. Large bands of Fingos 
marched at the same time from three points under 
Messrs. James Ayliff, Allan Maclean, and F. Pattle. The 
Gonubi volunteers under Captain George . Grey and the 
Maclean volunteers under Captain Howard Sprigg marched 
from the Springs, and some mounted police under In- 
spector Bailie, a body of Queenstown burghers under 
Captain George Hay, and a Tembu contingent under 
Major Elliot advanced from Idutywa. Captain Grey's 
volunteers, ninety in number, when in a rugged part of 
the country were drawn into an ambuscade, and 
found themselves surrounded by the enemy in great 
force, whose design was to close in upon them. In this 
emergency the little band acted with the greatest bravery, 
and by the accuracy of its fire kept the Galekas at a 
distance and fought its way out with only two men 
wounded. Colonel Griffith reached Kreli's kraal soon 
after sunrise, and found a strong force of Galekas there, 
who were taken completely by surprise. The artillery 
opened fire upon the kraal, and when the enemy was 
thrown into confusion, the Fingos under Allan and 
Alexander Maclean rushed forward and took the place. 
While these operations were in progress, other parties 
were advancing to the neighbouring kraals, many of 
which were defended with much obstinacy, but all were 


66 History of the Cape Colony. [1877 

eventually taken. Colonel Griffith reported that several 
ploughs and " a vast quantity of miscellaneous loot " fell 
to the share of the Fingos, great quantities of maize 
and millet were found, and twenty horses were captured. 
His only casualties were two volunteers wounded, while 
over a hundred Galekas were killed. All the kraals were 
given to the flames, with everything in them that could 
not be carried away as booty. 

On the 3rd of October the Active, under command of 
Commodore F. W. Sullivan, the senior naval officer on 
the station, arrived at East London, with nine officers 
and two hundred and seventeen men of the eighty-eighth 
regiment, under Major E. Hopton, and eight artillery- 
men, drawn from the garrison of Capetown to strengthen 
the posts west of the Kei. This was considered necessary 
to overawe the Karabe clans, some of whom were believed 
to be in such strong sympathy with the Galekas that 
they would rise in rebellion in case the colonial forces 
under Colonel Griffith met with a defeat or even a 
check. For this reason many of the burghers and 
volunteers who were coming forward for service at the 
front were also detained west of the Kei. 

It was a time of drought, which made it difficult to 
forward supplies of food and all other requisites for 
keeping forces in the field, so that Colonel Griffith had 
to consider how to do his work without running risks, 
with the fewest number of men possible. On the western 
side of the Kei the railway was of enormous advantage 
in this respect, and it was also of much service to the 
fighting forces by conveying everything that was needed 
from East London to the depot at Kei Koad. 

On the 13th of October the prime minister, Mr. J. C. 
Molteno, arrived in King-Williamstown, which might now 
be considered the seat of government, as the governor, 
two members of the ministry, and the commander of 
the forces were all residing there. Mr. Molteno remained 
only a few days on this occasion. 

1877] The Ninth Kaffir War. 67 

Kreli at this time sent messengers to request that 
Colonel Eustace and Mr. Fynn might be sent back to 
live with him, and promising to carry out any decision 
of the governor regarding the quarrel between his people 
and the Fingos. But as he asserted at the same time 
that he could not control the war party, it would have 
been useless to try to come to any terms with him, 
and he was therefore informed that his proposal would 
not be considered. He was given assurances that if he 
would surrender his life would be spared and he would 
not be imprisoned for a long period, but of this he 
took no notice. 

Colonel Griffith was informed by Mr. Merriman on 
behalf of the prime minister that subject to instructions 
from the imperial authorities it was intended to govern 
the country then occupied by the Galekas as an integral 
portion of her Majesty's South African dominions. What- 
ever settlement might be made of the land, the people 
as British subjects would be entitled to protection of 
person and property, and would be liable to provide by 
taxation for the expense of their government. With 
these conditions as a basis, he was instructed to disarm 
any of the common people who might surrender, and 
encourage them to resume peaceful avocations, protecting 
them from molestation by any one whatever as far as 
he possibly -could. All who had taken no part in the 
war were to be treated in the same manner, but chief- 
tainship was in no instance to be recognised. The cattle 
not distributed as prize when captured and the land of 
those engaged in hostilities were made liable to be sold 
to make good the cost of the war. 

The aim of the colonial forces was therefore to break 
up the Galeka army, to destroy the kraals so that the 
fighting men could not rally again, and to capture the 
cattle in order to bring the people to submission. 

To carry this out, Colonel Griffith formed his forces 
into three columns, and on the 18th of October directed 

68 History of the Cape Colony. [1877 

two of these to march from the camp at Ibeka in 
different directions towards the sea. One of them, 
commanded by himself in person, marched by way of 
Kentani hill to the mouth of the Kei, and then turned 
eastward to the source of the Lusizi streamlet just 
above the Manubi forest, where the other columns were 
directed to join it. It arrived there on the afternoon of 
the 22nd. The European section of this column and 
the artillery found little employment, but the Fin go 
auxiliaries under the headman Veldman were kept busy 
scouring the country along the line of march. No 
opposition whatever was encountered. 

Attached to the head quarter column after the evening 
of the 19th was a body of Fingos under Mr. James 
Ayliff, who marched from the Springs that morning. 
They had some skirmishes with small parties of the 
enemy, of whom they killed forty, with casualties to 
themselves of four men wounded. They burned many 
huts, and captured one hundred and fifty head of horned 
cattle and five or six hundred sheep. 

The second column was commanded by Inspector David 
Hook, of the frontier armed and mounted police. It 
consisted of two hundred and fifty-five Europeans and 
about two thousand Fingos, with one nine-pounder gun. 
It marched past Kreli's burnt kraal towards Mazeppa 
Bay, and on the 19th at nightfall reached the source of 
the Lusizi, where a camp was formed. The ruins of 
several traders' shops that had been burnt were passed, 
and some abandoned huts were set on fire, but no enemy 
was seen. The Fingos scoured the country on each 
side, and found abundance of maize in store pits. On 
the 21st two parties of Fingos were sent to the Manubi 
forest as scouts. They returned with about five hundred 
sheep and a number of women and children, and reported 
that the Galekas were not far off in great numbers 
and that there were many horses and horned cattle in 
the forest. At about two o'clock in the afternoon of 

1877] The Ninth Kaffir War. 69 

Sunday the 21st the Galekas in force attacked the camp, 
but after some sharp fighting were beaten off. In the 
engagement two Europeans, brothers named Goss, who 
were officers in the Fingo contingent, and nine Fingos 
were killed, and one European and twenty-one Fingos 
were wounded. Sixty-seven dead Galekas were counted 
on the field of battle, twenty or thirty muzzle-loader 
guns were picked up, and fifteen horses were captured. 

The third column consisted of two hundred Europeans 
and about fifteen hundred Tembus, under Major H. G. 
Elliot, that left Idutywa on the morning of the 17th. 
As at Ibeka a strong force had to be left behind to 
guard the camp, and the column was formed of picked 
men. It marched to Toleni, scouring the country on the 
way, destroying the kraals, and scattering small parties 
of Galekas, of whom from forty to fifty were killed. 
The only casualties were four men wounded. 

On the 30th of October, as the Galekas were known 
to be in great force near the coast towards the Bashee, 
Colonel Griffith proceeded with his army in that direction. 
It was formed into several columns, which marched suffi- 
ciently close to each other to be able to concentrate in 
case of necessity, but yet covered a wide extent of 
country from one extreme to the other. In front Fingo 
scouts were constantly examining the line of advance 
and bringing back reports, and between the columns the 
Tembus under Major Elliot and the Fingos under 
several leaders were scouring effectually, burning huts 
and collecting maize from the store pits. The drought 
had broken and rain was falling, on some days very 
heavily, and the Europeans were suffering great discom- 
fort, especially as their transport waggons could not 
keep up with them, and on more than one occasion 
they were short of other food than flesh. They could 
not eat the maize from store pits, on account of 
its disagreeable taste, though the Fingos and Tembus 
enjoyed it and ate to their hearts' content. 

jo History of the Cape Colony. [1877 

Intelligence was continually brought back by the scouts 
that the Galekas with their women, children, and cattle 
were broken up in little parties, all of which were 
pushing eastward, and sometimes they w T ere overtaken 
by rapid marching and large numbers of cattle were 
captured. They made very little resistance when attacked, 
and seemed as if panic stricken. It was believed that 
they would make a stand in the large forest on the 
right bank of the Bashee river near its mouth, but 
when that locality was reached, it was found that they were 
crossing over into Bomvanaland. It seemed indisputable 
to Colonel Griffith and the forces under his command 
that they were driving before them the whole Galeka 
people, who had lost all courage and all hope of success- 
ful resistance, and whose sole object was to get away 
and disperse among other tribes, Perhaps Sigcawu, that 
cunning spider, thought differently, but if he did, he 
took good care to give them no cause to suspect it. 

On the 7th of November Colonel Griffith crossed the 
Bashee with five hundred and twenty-two Europeans, 
mostly volunteers, and entered Bomvanaland. He had 
two field guns with him. This column captured a good 
many cattle, shot about twenty Galekas, and disarmed 
a few who were made prisoners. 

Another column, under Mr. James Ayliff, consisted of 
volunteers and Fingo auxiliaries, together five thousand 
one hundred men. Before it crossed the Bashee it came 
in touch with the enemy in the forest, and captured 
many oxen and a very large number of sheep and goats, 
which could not be driven forward as rapidly as the 
volunteers and Fingos could follow. It also made 
prisoners of some thousands of Galeka women and 
children. These were provided with food, and directed 
to return at once to their former homes, but instead of 
doing so, as soon as their captors were out of sight 
they resumed their journey eastward. Over forty Galekas 
were killed by this column, and it lost eight Fingos 

1 87 7] The Ninth Kaffir War, 71 

killed and ten others wounded before it reached 

A third large column of mixed Europeans and 
Tembus, under Major Elliot, crossed the Bashee on the 
7th of November. It did not come into contact with 
the Galekas, however, so it is unnecessary to record its 

In Bomvanaland immense herds of cattle were seen, 
but as they were claimed by Moni's people they were 
not seized, though the colonial forces were morally 
certain that they belonged to the Galekas. Kreli's people 
could not be found : it was ascertained that they had 
broken up into little parties and had gone on towards 
the Umtata, but every one professed absolute ignorance 
as to where Kreli or his son Sigcawu was. Hundreds 
of the people questioned must have known, but no one 
would tell. All asserted they had never seen either, and 
did not believe one or the other had entered Bomvana- 

Colonel Griffith then scoured the country to the 
Umtata, but found only a few stragglers here and there, 
so he came to believe that the Galekas were completely 
broken up as a people and that it would be unnecessary 
to keep the field any longer. With only a portion of 
his forces therefore he crossed the Umtata into Western 
Pondoland, where on the 15th of November he had an 
interview with the chiefs Nquiliso and Gwadiso. Nquiliso, 
son of Ndamasi, was the governing chief of Western 
Pondoland. He professed the utmost willingness to 
assist the colonial government in any way that he 
could, but did not know where Kreli and Sigcawu were, 
so could not surrender them. Gwadiso was the most 
powerful sub-chief, or head of a clan, in the district. 
He was in sympathy with the Galekas, if he was not 
actually in league with them, but seeing the force 
at Colonel Griffith's command he dissembled, and 
surrendered eleven hundred of Kreli's cattle that had 

72 History of the Cape Colony. [1877 

been entrusted to his care. Kreli and Sigcawu were 
reported to be in Eastern Pondoland, though this 
was regarded by the pursuing party as not at all 

Colonel Griffith now abandoned what he believed to be 
the pursuit of the fugitive Galekas. His horses were 
tired out, the Fingos and Tembus with him were 
footsore and disinclined to go farther, the weather was 
wet and inclement, the provisions were almost exhausted, 
and the country in advance was extremely rugged and 
could not be traversed by wheeled vehicles. There were 
no roads, and consequently supplies of food and ammu- 
nition could not be brought up. Under these circum- 
stances Colonel Griffith authorised Nquiliso to keep all 
the Galeka cattle that he could find, and then hurried 
back to Ibeka by forced marches. On the 19th of 
November at Mqanduli the volunteers and burghers of 
Albany, Fort Beaufort, Cradock, Tarkastad, "Wodehouse, 
and Aliwal North, and Bowker's rovers were thanked for 
their services and were allowed to leave for their homes. 
The volunteers from Capetown, Port Elizabeth, and 
Grahamstown, not being mounted, had been left to assist 
in guarding the camps in the Transkei, and the Queens- 
town burghers and volunteers were retained by Colonel 
Griffith when the others left. 

The belief was now general in the colony that the 
war beyond the Kei was over, and that the Galeka 
division of the Xosa tribe had ceased to exist as a 
community. About thirteen thousand head of horned 
cattle, a still greater number of sheep and goats, and 
several hundred horses had been taken from them, their 
kraals everywhere had been burnt, what ammunition 
they possessed at the beginning of the war it was 
assumed must all have been expended, and some seven 
hundred of their warriors had been killed. Kreli and 
Sigcawu were believed to be hiding in a forest in 
Eastern Pondoland, and their people in great distress 

1877] The Ninth Kaffir War. 73 

were supposed to be scattered over the country beyond 
the Umtata. A demand was made upon Umqikela, great 
son of Faku, to surrender the fugitive chiefs, and it was 
expected that they would soon be in custody. 

The volunteers and burghers were received with much 
rejoicing as they passed through the villages and towns 
on their way back to their homes. It was believed that 
the punishment inflicted upon the Galekas would serve 
as a warning to the Earabe clans, and probably prevent 
them from rising in open rebellion, though their conduct 
was such as to cause a great deal of uneasiness. 

The mode of settlement of Galekaland was at once 
considered by the government. Arrangements were made 
for the return of Mapasa and his clan to their old 
Lome, and the administration of the affairs of the 
;erritory was confided to Colonel Eustace. All the 
:ommon Galekas who would return and submit to his 
tuthority were as an act of grace to be permitted to 
settle there, and were to be protected against every one 
'ho might try to interfere with them. It was in contin- 
uation to set apart about five hundred farms of three 
hundred acres each for occupation by Europeans, who 
were to pay J65 for cost of survey and £1 yearly as 
quitrent, and all the remainder of the territory was to 
be reserved for the Galekas who it was supposed would 
return, give up their arms, and agree to live under 
British rule. 


THE NINTH KAFFIR WAR (continued). 

There would have been general rejoicing when it was 
believed that the war with the Galekas had ended in a 
satisfactory manner, if it had not been that a revolt of 
the Karabe clans west of the Kei seemed exceedingly 
probable. The chiefs when spoken to professed to be 
loyal, but cattle stealing was carried on by their people 
on a scale never known before except on the eve of a 
war, and they made no effort to prevent it. Few of 
the farmers in the frontier districts considered it prudent 
to remove their families from places of refuge, and of 
course all cultivation of the ground had ceased. Any 
trifling occurrence at a Kaffir kraal was sufficient to cause 
widespread alarm, and rumour magnified every movement 
of a chief into an act indicating an intention to rebel. 
On the 22nd of November all the Kaffirs at work on 
the railway deserted without giving notice, it was assumed 
because their chiefs had called them home to take part 
in war. 

An event at this time, in connection with a Ndlambe 
clan, added much to the general anxiety. 

The great son of the late chief Umhala was named 
Mackinnon. After the self-destruction of the clan in 
1857 he wandered about for several years, but when land 
was given to Kreli between the Kei and the Bashee, he 
went to live there as a subject of the Galeka chief. One 
of his half-brothers, Smith by name, had been located 
by Major Gawler at Idutywa, and another half-brother, 
named . Ndimba, took up his residence in the Gaika 


1877] The Ninth Kaffir War. 75 

location. Each of these had a few hundred retainers, but 
neither was a man of much importance. When the war 
broke out Mackinnon had some fifty or sixty families of 
Amandlambe under him, and more than that number of 
Galekas were nominally his retainers also. He was then 
living close to Mapasa, and as long as hostilities were 
confined to the Fingos he took part in them, but when 
it came to fighting with Europeans he considered it 
prudent to desist, and therefore moved over the Kei and 
claimed British protection. He was allowed to reside 
temporarily with Mapasa, but he appeared to be so 
insignificant that very little notice was taken of him. 
His arms were registered, but he was not then required 
to surrender them. 

When Colonel Griffith had followed the Galekas over 
the Umtata and was on his way back, the honourable 
Charles Brownlee, secretary for native affairs, informed 
Mapasa that he must give up his arms and return to 
his old home, and to this he agreed, as he was unable to 
resist. He surrendered four hundred and fifty-four guns 
and two thousand four hundred and eighteen assagais 
before he left to recross the Kei. At the same time 
Mackinnon was informed that he must give up his arms 
and pay two hundred head of cattle as his share of the 
damage done to the Fingos, and that as soon as 
possible he would be sent to his former home over the 
Kei. He tried to remonstrate, and objected especially to 
be disarmed, but was told that the decision of the 
government was unalterable. That night, 19th of 
November, he and his people fled with all their 
belongings from their temporary residence, the Galekas 
among them with their arms in their hands back over 
the Kei, and the Amandlambe towards their kinsmen 
under Ndimba in the Gaika location. As soon as their 
flight was known some police were sent in pursuit, who 
overtook them just as they reached Ndimba's residence, 
and seized fifty-six head of cattle, about five hundred 

j6 History of the Cape Colony. [1877 

sheep and goats, four guns, and some twenty assagais. 
By this time Ndimba's men, all armed, had come to 
the aid of their relatives, and some shots were fired, 
though without any one being hurt, so the police retired 
with what they had seized, and Mackinnon with his people 
and the remainder of his cattle reached a place of 

This affair added to the alarm in the border districts, 
for it was held to be the first overt act in a general 
insurrection. Here was armed resistance to the orders of 
the government, what next would happen? 

The military authorities hardly knew what to do. Affairs 
in Zululand indicated that Ketshwayo might at any 
moment force on a war, so that not a soldier could be 
withdrawn from Natal or the Transvaal, and the troops 
on the border were too few to do more than hold the 
posts of protection. It was therefore necessary that 
everything possible should be done to stave off an out- 
break, at least until such time as the colony should be 
better able to cope with it .than it then was. With this 
view, on the 23rd of November Mr. W. B. Chalmers was 
sent as a commissioner to the Gaika location to 
endeavour to induce Mackinnon to submit. He found 
both Sandile and Ndimba professing to be loyal, and 
the latter expressed regret for what his men had done. 
Mackinnon kept out of sight for several days, but at 
length Sandile sent some of his counsellors to order him 
to do as the commissioner wished, and on the 2nd of 
December he professed perfect submission to the govern- 
ment and gave up fifty-five head of horned cattle, seven 
guns, and ninety assagais. Mr. Chalmers accepted these 
as sufficient to make up, with what the police had 
seized, the fine of two hundred head of cattle and the 
surrender of his arms, and Mackinnon was informed 
that the government was satisfied and had no other 
claim against him. Thus one threatening danger appeared 
to be averted. 

1877] The Ninth Kaffir War. 77 

But on the very day that this arrangement was con- 
cluded, 2nd of December 1877, it became known that 
instead of the Galeka army having been broken up and 
dispersed, as every one had believed, it had merely 
executed a clever strategic movement, had placed its 
women, children, and cattle in places of safety, and was 
returning to its own country to renew the war. 

The only force remaining in Galekaland at the time 
consisted in round numbers of five hundred of the 
frontier armed and mounted police, with their horses 
needing a long rest, and two hundred infantry volunteers, 
even the Bantu auxiliaries having been allowed to return 
to their homes. That an officer of Colonel Griffith's 
experience could have made such a mistake would be inex- 
plicable, except for the fact that volunteers, white or 
black, cannot be kept in the field suffering discomfort 
when there is apparently nothing for them to do. 

On the 1st of December Inspector Bourne was sent 
from Ibeka to patrol the country with twenty-five of 
the police and one hundred and twenty-seven volunteers 
from Capetown and Graham stown. He had two waggons 
with him laden with food and baggage, and two field 
guns drawn by horses. He did not anticipate meeting 
with opposition, the patrol being regarded more as one for 
practice than for real work. That night he encamped 
near Sigcawu's burnt kraal, having seen nothing as yet 
to indicate that the country was again occupied. 

On the morning of Sunday the 2nd he went forward 
towards Umzintsani, better known to Europeans as 
Holland's shop, when to his surprise he encountered a 
division of the Galeka army several hundred strong, and 
a skirmish followed, in which one policeman was 
killed. The Galekas were beaten off, and as the ground 
there was rugged, the patrol moved to more open 
country, and formed a camp. A message was sent to 
Colonel Griffith, informing him of what had occurred, 
and asking for assistance. The camp was put into as 

j 8 History of the Cape Colony. [1877 

good a condition for defence as the means at hand 
allowed of, the guns were loaded and placed in position, 
and the horses and oxen were fastened to the waggons. 

At half past six that evening the camp was attacked 
by fully a thousand Galekas, who entirely surrounded it. 
Great execution was done by the guns and the rifle fire 
of the defenders, but until eight o'clock the fighting 
was continuous. The horses and oxen, startled by the 
cannon fire, broke loose and stampeded, falling into the 
enemy's hands. A Capetown volunteer named Henry 
Philip Baron was killed, and six volunteers and one 
policeman were wounded. Fortunately the aim of the 
Galekas was imperfect, or the casualties must have been 
much heavier. Inspector Bourne's ammunition was almost 
exhausted when the assailants withdrew, after losing a 
great many men, but still preserving a defiant attitude. 
At half past ten Sub-Inspector Hatton arrived with 
reinforcements, but it was considered prudent to form 
the whole force into a hollow square and remain in 
that position with their rifles in their hands till daylight 
next morning. 

On the 4th of December Colonel Griffith reported what 
had occurred, and asked for reinforcements to be sent to 
him as speedily as possible. And so the colony was 
awakened to the fact that a general Kaffir war was in 
progress, for no one doubted any longer that the Karabe 
clans would take part in it. 

Measures were at once adopted to collect an active 
force on the border. General Cunynghame resolved to 
remove every soldier from Capetown, and to entrust the 
care of the forts and military buildings to volunteers. 
On the 5th of December the governor requested Commo- 
dore Sullivan by telegraph to aid with as large a naval 
contingent as he could spare, and to convey the troops 
from Capetown to East London with the least possible 
delay. Major Elliot was directed to call out the Tembus 
again, and volunteers all over the country were appealed to. 


1877] The Ninth Kaffir War. 79 

Commodore Sullivan chartered the coasting steamer 
Florence, and all the soldiers in Capetown, a few artillery- 
men and engineers and one hundred and fifty men of 
the eighty-eighth regiment, were embarked in her and 
the Active. A quantity of ammunition and all the 
provisions that could be spared from the naval magazine 
were also shipped, and on the 10th of December the 
two vessels left Table Bay. On the 13th they reached 
East London, where the bar was found to be almost 
impassable, but on the 16th the troops and provisions 
were landed without mishap. A naval brigade of nine 
officers and one hundred and eighty-three seamen and 
marines was also landed, with a gatling gun, six twelve- 
pounders, and two rocket tubes. These were sent on to 
Kei road station by train, and were afterwards of great 
service. So thoroughly had the Cape peninsula been 
denuded of troops that only fifty-nine soldiers were left 
to guard the dockyard in Simonstown. 

It was considered by the government a matter of 
importance to keep the chief Oba out of the strife, if it 
could be done, not so much on account of the number 
of his immediate followers as of his reputation as a 
fighting leader. He had won renown in the war of 
1850-52 as second only to Makoma in skill and daring, 
and had ever since been called by the Xosas Ngonyama, 
the Lion. His people were regarded as the most rest- 
less of all the Karabe clans, and as it was they who 
had massacred the military settlers in the Tyumie valley 
on Christmas 1850, the Europeans on the frontier looked 
upon them as bloodthirsty and treacherous to the last 
degree. In reality they were no worse than other un- 
civilised Kaffirs, and the chief himself and many of his 
men were by no means lacking in good qualities. There 
could be no question now that if Oba were to go into 
rebellion every Xosa in the frontier districts who might 
otherwise have wavered would join him, and therefore it 
was desirable to keep him quiet. 

80 History of the Cape Colony. [1877 

On the 6th of December the author of these volumes, 
who was known to the Xosas as an antiquary versed in 
their lore and interested in their welfare, received a 
telegram asking if he would take charge of Oba and his 
clan, and try to influence them for good. The civil 
commissioner of the district of Victoria East, Percy 
Nightingale, Esqre., who was doing all that a most 
efficient and sensible official could do to preserve order, 
had represented to the government that he thought the 
people in question would listen to one whom they knew 
so well and for whom they professed to feel the highest 
regard. An opportunity to be of some service to the 
country and to the Kaffirs also was not to be neglected, 
and the request was complied with. This need not be 
referred to again, and it will suffice to say that Oba 
and his clan took no part whatever in the war, but 
were induced to move westward, where the people dis- 
persed in service among farmers at a great distance from 
the scene of hostilities, and the chief with his leading 
men consented to be conveyed to Capetown and to 
remain there until the war was over. An empty barrack 
at Wynberg was assigned for his residence and that of 
his attendants. Not a drop of their blood was shed, 
nor did they shed a drop of the blood of any white 

As regards military operations, on the 9th of December 
Colonel Glynn was placed in command of all the forces 
that could be gathered for service in Galekaland, with 
instructions to try to subdue Kreli's army, and Colonel 
W. Bellairs took the position previously held by Colonel 
Glynn west of the Kei. 

This condition of things was an anomaly in a colony 
with responsible government, that might be supposed to 
provide for its own defence. The imperial authorities 
threw the blame upon the Cape government for not 
having provided for such an emergency by organising 
proper forces in time, and when the governor and the 

1877] The Ninth Kaffir War. Si 

general applied for more soldiers, announced that two 
additional battalions would be sent out, but that all 
expenses must be paid by the colonial treasury. A 
different view was generally held in South Africa, where 
the troubles on the border were attributed by most people 
to the policy enforced by the secretaries of state before 
the introduction of home rule, with the consequence 
that Great Britain ought to furnish the men and money 
and put matters right, after which the colony would be 
solely responsible for its own defence. Whether this 
view was tenable or not, at this particular time the 
imperial forces were almost alone in the field. In the 
frontier districts the burghers could not volunteer for 
service, because they had to protect their families, and 
those at a distance needed time to muster. There was 
also among these last named, especially among the 
Dutch speaking farmers of the west, great reluctance to 
being placed under the command of regular military 
officers unacquainted with their habits, so that they did 
not respond heartily to the call that was made upon 

On the 19th of December two of Kreli's counsellors, 
named Botumane and Waki, came in and applied 
to be informed what terms would be granted to their 
chief if he would desist from further fighting. They 
were assured that no harm would be done to him 
personally and that he would receive good treatment, but 
that he would be required to live wherever the govern- 
ment should decide. An armistice of six days was 
agreed upon to give him time to consider these terms, 
but he did not accept them. 

In the interval the event of greatest importance in 
the whole course of the war took place. On the 24th 
of December Kiva, the bravest leader of the Galeka 
army, with a body-guard of two hundred men, crossed 
the Kei and entered the Gaika location, where he made 
an impassioned appeal to the people to aid the head of 



82 History of the Cape Colony. [1877 

their tribe in his time of need. Had an Englishman 
acted in this way under similar circumstances his 
countrymen would have applauded him, and much as 
Kiva's conduct is to be regretted, he is certainly entitled 
to a large amount of respect. 

An old hereditary counsellor of the Gaika clan, named 
Tyala, opposed taking up arms, because, he said, it 
meant destruction and death. Before the preceding wars 
his advice had always been in favour of the maintenance 
of peace, but when he was overruled by Sandile, his 
chief, no one fought more bravely than he. It was the 
same at the time of the delusion of Nongqause. He 
had pleaded against the destruction of the cattle and 
corn, and had foretold what the consequences must be, 
but Sandile had rejected his advice, and he had sub- 
mitted. And now once more the old man's voice was 
heard, begging his chief not to bring ruin upon the 
people, and pointing out that it was madness to try to 
resist the government. As for himself, come what might, 
he would be no party to bringing death to his clans- 
men, and therefore would not follow his chief as he 
had always done before, if rebellion was decided upon. 

Sandile, weak and irresolute, but impulsive, was carried 
away by the appeal of Kiva, and decided hastily to give 
assistance to the Galekas. The young men, eager for 
excitement, flourished their arms, the war cry was raised, 
and then, even if Sandile had changed his mind, it would 
have been too late to adopt another and wiser course. 

Tyala, with a sorrowful heart, left the location and 
went to reside at Grey town, to keep away from the 
strife and to preserve a remnant of his clan in safety. 
With him went some of the most sensible of Sandile's 
people, who were of his opinion that rebellion would 
result in utter destruction, and these formed the nucleus 
of the party afterwards known as the loyal Gaikas. 
They were joined by some members of other clans, and 
ultimately one thousand four hundred and eighteen men 

1877] The Ninth Kaffir War. 83 

were registered, two hundred and twenty-three guns, 
mostly muzzle loaders, and three thousand five hundred 
assagais were taken from them, and they were supplied 
with passes which enabled them to move about freely. 
They had with them ten thousand five hundred head of 
horned cattle. A few of them were really spies, and 
when opportunities offered fought on the rebel side, 
as was ascertained by their dead bodies being found 
after engagements with their passes in their skin bags. 

Ndimba and Mackinnon with their people joined the 
rebels, but old Anta, who was too feeble to move 
about, Fini, son of Tyali, and Kona, Makoma's son of 
highest rank, declared their intention to remain faithful 
to the government. 

On the 22nd of December General Cunynghame left 
King-Williamstown, and on the 25th reached Ibeka, 
where he intended to remain while operations were being 
conducted against the Galekas. He had hardly crossed 
the Kei when communication by post with the governor 
was cut off by the rebels, who took possession of several 
miles of the main road between Komgha and King- 
Williamstown, burnt the Draibos hotel and several farm 
houses, and lay in wait for the commissariat waggons 
conveying supplies of provisions to Galekaland. 

On the 29th of December a strong force of the 
mounted police and eighty-eighth regiment left Komgha 
to try to clear the road, but did not succeed in doing 
so, though many of the rebels were shot. A policeman 
was killed and two officers were wounded on this 
occasion. On the following day another party was sent 
from Komgha to escort the mail, but was obliged to 
return after losing three killed and two wounded. 

On the 31st the telegraph wire, which the rebels had 

previously regarded with superstitious dread, was cut, but 

t was quickly repaired, and the road was cleared for 

;raffic again by a combined force of soldiers, police, and 

volunteers. Martial law was now, 31st of December, 

84 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

proclaimed in the districts of Stutterheim and Komgha, 
which enabled the military authorities to act more freely. 

At this time messages were again received from Kreli 
that he would like to see Colonel Eustace, and that 
gentleman on two occasions met him unarmed and with 
no other attendant than an interpreter, when he was 
assured that if he would surrender his life would be 
spared and his people would be provided with land to 
live on, but he could not be induced to give himself 
up. What he wanted was to remain with his followers 
as their head, and if this was conceded he was ready 
to promise that he would desist from further fighting. 
As his proposal could not be agreed to, on the 27th of 
December a reward of d61,000 was offered for his appre- 
hension, but without effect, for no one among his people 
was base enough to betray him. Mapasa's followers, 
who had been sent back to their own country, might 
indeed have done so, for the feud between them and 
the other Galekas had grown into the most bitter 
hatred, but they had no opportunity of ascertaining even 
where he was, much less of getting near him. 

Two bodies of men were now raised under semi-military 
regulations, who did excellent service during the re- 
mainder of the war. One of these consisted of four 
hundred footmen, enrolled by Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine, 
of the first battalion of the twenty-fourth regiment, 
and was called Pulleine's rangers. The other was 
enrolled by Lieutenant Carrington, of the same regiment, 
and consisted of two hundred mounted men, callec 
Carrington's horse. Both these officers were detached foi 
this duty, and proved themselves most competent t( 
carry it out. 

On the 31st of December three officials of the Captjf 
government were murdered in the district of Eas 
London. Mr. Eichard George Tainton, special magistrat 
of Tamacha, his brother, Mr. John Tainton, inspector 
police, and Fieldcornet W. C. Brown, with fifty-threj 

1878] The Ninth Kaffir War. 85 

Bantu policemen, were following up some stolen cattle, 
and at eleven o'clock in the morning of the last day of 
the year came to a deserted farm on the Kwelegha 
river. There while resting the three white men were 
suddenly attacked and murdered, their police looking on 
without making any effort to assist them. 

In addition to a good deal of skirmishing, which had 
very little effect upon either the government forces or 
the Xosas, the rebels made two raids into Fingoland, 
and did a considerable amount of damage there. The 
first of these took place on the 28th of December, 
when they crossed the Kei at the junction of the 
Tsomo, and advanced six miles or nearly ten kilometres 
towards Blythswood, burning all the kraals and seizing 
all the cattle that could not be driven away in time. 
On the 8th of January 1878 a larger number crossed 
the Kei at the same place, and made a determined 
attack upon a strong party of Fingos encamped near 
the eastern bank purposely to defend the ford. Captain 
Korke was in command of the Fingos, and after an 
engagement that lasted an hour, the rebels were 
repulsed and driven over the river again, leaving twenty- 
three of their number dead on the ground. 

Two days later the Gaika location was entered by a 
>lonial force with some Fingos attached to it, and in 
Idition to other damage inflicted on the rebels, 
dimba's kraal was burned. 

On the 13th of January 1878 there was an engage- 
ment about four miles south-west of Kentani hill 
between a patrol under Lieutenant-Colonel Glynn 
and ten or twelve hundred Galekas, which lasted an 
hour and a half. Some fifty Galekas were killed by the 
fire from sniders, which was not only more rapid but 
effective at a greater distance than that from their 
muzzle loaders. Led by Kiva, however, they pressed on 
again and again, and five soldiers were wounded before 
they finally retired. 

86 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 7S 

The area of disturbance was every week becoming 
greater, notwithstanding the fact that in all the encoun- 
ters and skirmishes that took place on both sides of the 
Kei the Europeans were the victors. The war spirit 
seemed to be infectious, and clans were drawn into 
rebellion without being able to assign any reason for 
what they were doing. This, for instance, was the case 
with the Gunukwebes under Delima, son of Pato, whose 
location was near the "Wesleyan mission station Mount 
Coke. They could not remain impassive with excitement 
all around them, and they never asked themselves the 
question what the result was likely to be. Many of the 
European inhabitants were rather pleased than alarmed 
when the new outbreak took place, and their language, 
if not their attitude, was on some occasions so hostile 
as to provoke a rising. The condition of things, they 
said, was worse than that of open war, they were being 
plundered to a ruinous extent, without the liberty of 
retaliation, they were compelled to remove their families 
to places of safety, and to cease their ordinary occupa- 
tions : better therefore that every robber on the frontier 
should turn rebel as well, so that an end could be put 
to their depredations. 

The defection of one prominent man, however, caused 
real surprise. This man was Dukwana, son of Ntsikana, 
who had always borne the character of being a sincere 
Christian, was an active evangelist, and dressed and 
lived in the European manner. Dukwana announced 
that he regarded his duty to Sandile, his chief, as 
taking precedence of his allegiance to the English 
government, and therefore he went into rebellion. He 
did not put off his European clothing, and he continued 
to hold prayer meetings and other religious services 
wherever he was, but thereafter he was the constant 
attendant of Sandile, as ready to draw trigger upon a 
white man as any other Gaika. Two of his sons, whose 
conduct when at Lovedale, however, was so unsatis- 

i»7«l The Ninth Kaffir War. Sj 

factory that little good was expected of them, went 
with him. Another son, a good English scholar who 
was leading a highly useful life, died the year before 
the time of trial came to his family. 

One of Sandile's sons, who was called Gonya by his 
people and Edmund Sandile by Europeans, had been 
educated at Zonnebloem, and was a professed Christian. 
He had been for some time a clerk in the office of the 
magistrate at Middle Drift, and in addition had a farm 
given to him by the government, which he let at high 
rent, so that he was in fairly good circumstances. He 
was too conceited and two weak minded to command 
the respect of Europeans, who thought much more 
highly of his brother Matanzima,* a fine specimen of a 
crude barbarian. Both of them followed their father, 
both were captured some months later, and were tried 
for rebellion at the same time. But very different was 
their attitude in the dock : Edmund whining and beg- 
ging for mercy, Matanzima with his head erect and not 
a muscle quivering, as calm and firm as if he was a 
disinterested spectator. 

A great change came over Sandile himself when he 
went into rebellion. He had been a drunkard for ten 
years, a wretched stupid sot, by Europeans deemed irre- 
claimable. Yet now he told his people they were not to 
procure strong drink for him, as this was not the time 
to use it, and those who were with him to the end, 
when months later he was mortally wounded by a 
chance bullet, reported that he never once touched it, 
not even when suffering from cold and hunger and 
stormy weather, when some of his attendants managed 
to procure a little brandy and pressed it upon him. It 
would be hard to find an instance of a man having 
more command over himself than this changeable bar- 
barian certainly had. Irresolute in everything else, in 
this one matter he was decidedly firm. 

*l Son '.of the second wife in rank of Sandile. 

%& History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

At this time the murder of a man, though a very 
humble one, took place, which deserves some mention. 
It has been stated that the reverend Dr. Vanderkemp, 
the leader of the first mission party of the London 
society in South Africa, purchased a slave girl and 
married her. By her he had a son, who received as 
good an education as was then possible to obtain in 
this country. The boy, however, was without his 
father's ability, and preferred a wandering life to a 
settled occupation. As a man he was perfectly harmless, 
and gained an honest living as a schoolmaster among 
Dutch speaking farmers, with whom, though he was 
coloured, he was a general favourite. In course of time 
he acquired a small herd of cattle, with which he 
wandered about, the owners of land giving him pasture, 
and when the war broke out in 1877 he was staying 
temporarily on a farm in the district of East London. 
Old Kootje, as he was usually called by Europeans, did 
not fear molestation by the Gaikas, who knew him as 
the son of Jankana, the first missionary to the Xosas, 
so he was in no hurry to remove. On the 15th of 
January 1878 he was surprised by a party who drove 
off his cattle and murdered the poor old man. 

The enemies of the colony were now increased by 
a section of the Tembu tribe, that was not under the 
immediate control of Gangelizwe, joining them. The 
first chief of note who took part in the disturbance 
was Gongubela, head of the Tshatshu clan, which since 
1846 had been closely allied with the Gaikas, and whose 
kraals adjoined the upper end of the Gaika location, 
but he was soon followed by others. Volunteers and 
burghers from different parts of the country were 
gathering in considerable numbers, however, so that the 
means to deal with rebellion were much greater than 
they had been a few weeks earlier. 

At this period of the war disagreement commenced 
between the governor and the members of the ministry 

1878] The Ninth Kaffir War. 89 

who were on the frontier, of which an account will 
presently be given, and on the 15th of January Colonel 
Griffith was appointed by the ministers commandant- 
general of the colonial forces, and without any reference 
to General Cunynghame, who was still at Ibeka, prepara- 
tions were made for dealing promptly with the rebels. 
Already Commandant (later Sir John) Frost had been 
directed with a strong body of volunteers and Fingos 
to operate in the Gaika location in conjunction with 
another column of Fingos under Commandant Eorke. 

On the 14th Commandant Frost marched from Toise's 
river with three hundred and ninety-seven burgher 
volunteers and two hundred and fifty Fingos to Mgwali 
mission station, skirmishing with rebels on the way and 
capturing some cattle, but losing one man killed, Jan 
Grobbelaar by name. At Mgwali a junction was effected 
with Commandant Korke's division, and the next day 
the march was continued to Lugilo mission station. At 
the Kabusi there was some sharp fighting, and over a 
hundred Kaffirs were killed, but elsewhere the location 
seemed to have been almost abandoned by men, who, it 
was supposed, were with the Galekas beyond the Kei. 
On the 18th the Kabusi was crossed, and operations 
were continued until the 21st, which resulted in the 
capture of two thousand seven hundred and fifty head 
of horned cattle and over five thousand six hundred 
sheep and goats. 

At the same time that Commandant Frost was engaged 
in the above mentioned duty, a military force under 
Lieutenant-Colonel W. Lambert, of the eighty-eighth 
regiment, was engaged in scouring the Tshetshaba valley, 
south of Komgha, where, as afterwards ascertained, the 
rebels were keeping most of their cattle. This large 
valley, which opens upon the Kei, was an ideal retreat 
for Kaffirs, as it contained many ridges extremely diffi- 
cult of access and thickly wooded gorges in which men 
and animals could remain concealed. The expedition 

90 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 7 8 

under Colonel Lambert was not cooperating with that 
under Commandant Frost, having received its instructions 
from General Cunynghame, while the latter had received 
his from the honourable Mr. Merriman, a member of 
the ministry. It consisted of one hundred and twenty- 
two soldiers of the eighty-eighth regiment, fifty-eight 
men of Sansom's horse, four sailors and five artillerymen 
with two seven-pounders, and a large number of Fingos. 
On the 14th of January it left Kcmgha, and in the 
afternoon of the 16th completed its task, having captured 
in round numbers twelve thousand head of horned cattle 
and eight thousand sheep and goats, and having killed 
at least sixty of the rebels, with a loss to itself of 
only one Fingo killed and three wounded. While the 
valley was being scoured, its exit on the side of the 
Kei was guarded by a body of troops under Colonel 
Glynn, and at its western extremity Commandant 
Edward Yewd Brabant with the East London volunteers 
kept watch, so that escape was cut off in both directions. 

The next operation of any importance was an expedi- 
tion sent against Gongubela by the ministry, and was 
conducted by Mr. John Hemming, civil commissioner of 
Queenstown. It consisted of three hundred and seventy- 
three European and thirty-eight coloured volunteers, that 
marched from Queenstown on the 22nd of January. At 
the Bolotwa it was reinforced by fifty special constables 
and two hundred blacks, but on nearing its destination 
that number was found insufficient, for it was ascertained 
that some Hottentots and many of Anta's Gaikas, who 
had been regarded as loyal, were with Gongubela. On 
the 24th a sharp engagement took place on the bank 
of the Kei, when, after his ammunition was nearly all 
expended, Mr. Hemming was obliged to retire. His 
camp was then attacked by a body of Tembus under 
Umfanta, a brother of Gangelizwe, but who was at feud 
with that chief. The attack was made so suddenly and 
unexpectedly that fifty horses were captured and driven 

1878] The Ninth Kaffir War. 91 

off before any resistance could be made, but the Tembus 
who were retiring with their booty were followed up, 
and forty-two of thern were shot, though the horses 
were not recovered. Thereafter Umfanta and his clan 
were among the active opponents of the colony. 

Gongubela was not left long undisturbed. Colonel 
Griffith and Commandant Frost received instructions to 
march against him, and on the 4th of February they 
reached his kraals. Commandant Frost had with him 
three hundred and twenty volunteers and six hundred 
and eighty Fingos. He killed eighty of the enemy and 
captured about seven hundred head of horned cattle and 
one thousand sheep and goats, with a loss of one Fingo 
killed and two wounded. Colonel Griffith arranged his 
force in four columns, one of which met with stubborn 
resistance at a very strong position on the Zwart Kei 
about four miles or a little over six kilometres above its 
junction with the White Kei. Great numbers of the 
enemy, among whom were many -of Anta's men, were 
killed, and about two thousand head of horned cattle 
and five thousand sheep were captured. Among the 
killed were several chiefs, but Gongubela and Umfanta 
were neither shot nor captured. Colonel Griffith had 
one Fingo killed and three Europeans and one Fingo 

A small body of men that afterwards did excellent 
service arrived in King-Williamstown on the 4th of 
February. It was called the Diamond Field Horse, and 
consisted of ten officers and one hundred and eight 
privates, commanded by Colonel Charles Warren, of the 
royal engineers, enrolled by Major Lanyon at Kimberley 
at the request of Sir Bar tie Frere. With President 
Brand's permission it had marched through the Orange 
Free State, and after a ride of over three hundred miles 
it reached King-Williamstown in condition for immediate 
service. Being a semi-military body, it was more amenable 
to discipline than a corps of volunteers. 

92 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

In Galekaland matters were progressing favourably. On 
the 27th of January Captain Kussel Upcher with one 
hundred and fifty-five soldiers, one hundred and forty-one 
men of the mounted police, twenty-seven seamen, and 
four hundred Fingos left Ibeka, and in the afternoon of 
the same day reached a forest in which his scouts had 
informed him a strong party of the enemy had their 
quarters. He attacked them there, and succeeded in 
killing about forty of them, but did not drive them out 
and disperse them, as he wished to do. His casualties 
were one sailor and five Fingos wounded. 

The most stubbornly contested engagement in the whole 
course of the war took place at Kentani on the 7th of 
February 1878. Colonel Glynn had formed a camp 
there, which was enclosed by a quadrangular earthen 
bank of no great height, being intended more to mark 
the limits of the ground occupied than as an aid to 

On the 5th of February some Fingo scouts brought 
word to the camp that they had seen a great many 
Galekas only a few miles away. Captain Upcher, of the 
first battalion of the twenty-fourth, who was in com- 
mand, then caused the earthen walls to be raised higher 
to serve as breastworks, and had his field guns placed 
in good position for use, in case he should be attacked. 
But no enemy appeared either on that day or on the 

There were in the camp at this time two hundred 
and four officers and men of the first twenty-fourth, 
eighty-three of the frontier armed and mounted police, 
seventy-four officers and men of Carrington's horse, one 
officer and twenty-five men of the naval brigade, sixteen 
artillerymen of the mounted police, and thirteen men of 
the Capetown volunteer artillery, in all four hundred and 
sixteen Europeans. They had one nine-pounder and two 
seven-pounder field guns, and one twenty-four pounder 
rocket tube served by seamen. About three hundred 

1878] The Ninth Kaffir War. 93 

Fingos were there also, who had their meals and slept 
in temporary screens close by. They were led by Veld- 
man, an experienced and trustworthy headman, who had 
received an excellent training when attached as a scout 
to the frontier armed and mounted police. By the 
military authorities the services of these men, particularly 
as scouts, were regarded as almost indispensable. 

Kreli, acting on the advice of Xito, the tribal priest,* 
who was supported by Sigcawu and Kiva, had collected 
his best fighting men in the Tala bush not far distant, 
with the intention of making a dash upon the camp at 
early dawn on some favourable morning, overpowering 
the white men and the Fingos, who it was anticipated 
would be taken by surprise, and getting possession of a 
supply of ammunition and food. Three or four thousand 
of his warriors had gone through the usual preparations 
for a battle, had received charms from Xito, which they 
hung round their necks, and each man bore the war 
mark, a black spot on his forehead. All was in proper 
order, just as the spirits of the mighty dead would have 
it, so chiefs and common men alike were confident that 
they would have success. 

Sandile and two or three thousand Gaikas were with 
Kreli's people, but did not entirely agree with them as 
to an attack upon the camp at Kentani. Sandile was 
more in favour of a raid into Fingoland with all the 
men that could be mustered, when they might make 
sure of obtaining much spoil, and of being able to 
retire with it to some locality where they could make a 
successful defence. But Kreli would not consent to this 
and the Gaikas then resolved to let the Galekas take 
the lead in the attack and to watch the result. 

* Witchfinder is the term commonly used by European colonists 
to signify the holder of this office, but the word is not a good one. 
Xito's duties were to perform sacrifices for the tribe on important 
occasions, to prepare warriors for battle, and to smell out those who 
sought to inflict injury on the chief's house by means of witchcraft. 

94 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 7 8 

The morning of the 7th seemed specially favourable 
for the purpose. A thick mist, in which nothing was 
visible at a distance, shrouded the land, so at early 
dawn Kreli assembled his w r arriors, and in three columns 
of over a thousand men in each, led respectively by 
Xito, Sigcawu, and Kiva, they marched towards the 
camp. The Gaikas, two or three thousand strong, 
followed close behind. They thought to get close to 
their object unperceived, and then to make a sudden 
rush in, but they were disappointed. Captain Upcher 
had Fingo scouts far advanced, and at half past four in 
the morning some of them came in almost breathless, 
and announced that an army which seemed t them 
beyond number was approaching. There was just time 
to strike the tents, and to send a message to Tutura — 
once the mission station of the reverend Tiyo Soga, — 
where a body of troops on the way from Ibeka, under 
Captain Kobinson of the royal engineers, was known to 
be halting for the night, urging them to hurry on, when 
the mist cleared a little, and one of the Galeka columns 
was seen at a distance of about eighteen hundred 

Fire was at once opened upon it from the nine- 
pounder, and as soon as it came within range from the 
rocket tube. The three columns pressed on, however, 
till they were within three or four hundred metres of 
the camp, when so many of their men fell from the 
rifle fire that was poured into them that they seemed to 
be wavering. A company of the twenty-fourth and some 
of the mounted police and Carrington's horse were then 
sent out to pretend to attack, really to draw them on, 
and upon the Galekas making a stand to receive them, 
they turned and fled back again. With a great shout 
the enemy pursued, and the Gaikas, believing the Europeans 
to be beaten, joined in the melee. A desperate fight 
then took place, the black warriors doing their best to 
overpower the little band of Europeans, with the Fingos 

1878] The Ninth Kaffir War. 95 

counted in only one to ten of themselves, but all in vain. 
Their guns were only muzzle loaders, and their firing 
was so wild that the balls passed over the heads of their 
opponents, only two of whom were killed and nine 
wounded during the whole battle, while their bravest 
and best men were picked off by the steady fire and 
accurate aim of the defenders. At half past ten Captain 
Robinson's reinforcement arrived, and its appearance on 
their flank tended to make the enemy lose heart. They 
gave up the contest, and retreated in confusion, but 
carried with them their wounded, who numbered many 
hundreds. About four hundred had been killed. Only 
two prisoners, both Gaikas, were taken, from whom the 
particulars of the arrangements made in the early 
morning were learned. 

After their defeat Sandile and his Gaikas recrossed the 
Kei, and occupied the rugged country along the lower 
course of the Thomas river. 

As far as Kreli was concerned, the battle of 
Kentani was a decisive one. He immediately retired 
across the Bashee into Bomvanaland, where he managed 
to secrete himself and those followers who would not 
leave him under any circumstances. The B-ruvanas under 
Moni, though they would not fight for .am, were very 
willing to give him shelter, and not one 1 f them ever 
thought of betraying him to the British officials. Here 
and in Pondoland he wandered about until the 28th of 
June 1881, when, through the agency of Mr. William 
Fynn, he met Captain Blyth, chief magistrate of Transkei, 
on the western bank of the Bashee, and placed himself 
unreservedly in the hands of the colonial government. He 
was accompanied by two of his sons, two of his brothers, 
and about two hundred of his most devoted followers. 
The unfortunate old man — he was then sixty-five or 
sixty-six years of age — said he was no longer a chief, 
meaning that he was in very reduced circumstances, but 
which was taken to imply that he relinquished his chief- 

96 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 7 8 

tainship, he surrendered all his arms, and promised to be 
obedient to the colonial government in the future. 

A small tract of land in the district of Elliotdale was 
then purchased from the Bomvanas, and was allotted to 
him as a residence. There the last paramount ruler of 
the Xosa tribe, the man whose command had once been 
implicitly obeyed by every warrior from the Keiskama to 
the Bashee who could hurl an assagai, passed the 
remainder of his life in almost complete obscurity. As 
far as food and clothing were concerned, he wanted 
nothing, and the Galekas still regarded him with affec- 
tion and reverence, but he must often have reflected 
with bitterness upon the fact that he was no longer a 
power in the land. Such is the inevitable fate of a 
barbarian ruler who endeavours to resist the progress of 
a civilised neighbour, he must go under. 

After the battle of Kentani most of the Galekas, who 
were in a condition of extreme poverty and distress, 
professed submission to the European authorities, and 
were permitted to settle in the part of their former 
country that thereafter became known as the district of 
Willowvale. Kiva with a small band of really desperate 
men would neither flee nor submit. He vowed vengeance 
against his uncle Mapasa for abandoning the Galeka 
cause and becoming a dog of the white man, and 
declared he would never rest until he had shed the 
blood of the traitor. But his career was soon ended. 
On the 8th of March the forest which he had made 
his retreat was attacked by a force of Fingos, and in 
the skirmish he was killed. Thereafter only police work 
remained to be done in Galekaland, for armed resistance 
was over. 




At this time a change of ministry took place, under 
circumstances unique in the history of British depen- 
dencies possessing responsible government. In the method 
of carrying on the war it was almost inevitable that Sir 
Bartle Frere and the honourable Mr. Molteno should not 
look at matters from the same standpoint, for their past 
experience was widely different. The governor had been 
through the Indian mutiny, and consequently knew the 
value of discipline and had the very highest opinion of 
the qualifications of the British soldier for warfare of 
every kind. Mr. Molteno had been through an earlier 
Kaffir war, and had as high an opinion as the governor 
of the value of a soldier in an open fight, but believed 
that for roughing it in the field and for hunting up 
barbarians in forests a colonist was preferable to a highly 
disciplined man. 

Down to the time of the return of the Galekas from 
Pondoland all the active operations had been performed 
by the police and the volunteers, the soldiers merely 
holding certain positions as posts of protection, and with 
this arrangement both the governor and the minister 
were satisfied. So far the war might be said to be 
carried on in a foreign country, for Galekaland was not 
in the colony, and the Galekas were not British subjects. 
But when the Gaikas under Sandile joined their kinsmen 
over the Kei, the condition became different. Thereafter 
the principal, and very shortly the only, operations carried 
on were against rebel insurgents, and the scene of the 
fighting was colonial soil. 

8 . 97 

98 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

Sir Bartle Frere regarded the disturbance with the 
Xosas and some of the Tembus as only part of a very 
large whole. In Griqualand East there was a petty 
rebellion, on the border of Griqualand West the Batlapin 
chief Botlasitsi was giving trouble, in Southern Basutoland 
the Baputi chief Morosi was disaffected, in the Transvaal 
the Bapedi chief Sekukuni was setting the British adminis- 
tration at defiance, and in Zululand Ketshwayo, the 
most powerful chief in South Africa, was acting in such 
a manner that Sir Theophilus Shepstone was applying 
for more troops, as war might break out at any moment. 
Probably the machinations of Ketshwayo did not extend 
to the Cape frontier, as Sir Bartle Frere and many 
others believed they did, but certainly there could be 
neither tranquillity nor progress in Natal or the Trans- 
vaal while the menace of a Zulu army forty or fifty 
thousand strong remained on their border. 

In this condition of things Sir Bartle Frere asked for 
two more battalions, and Lord Carnarvon in his friendly 
desire to assist South Africa, supported the application. 
They could ill be spared at the time, for there was 
trouble in Europe, but the cabinet would not neglect 
this country in a time of need, and the ninetieth and 
the second battalion of the twenty-fourth were at once 
sent out. On the 3rd of February a battery of artillery 
arrived at Capetown, and was at once sent to East 
London. The next day the ninetieth regiment arrived in 
Capetown, and three hundred men were forwarded to 
Natal and six hundred to East London, whence they 
proceeded to Fort Beaufort. On the 28th of February the 
second battalion of the twenty-fourth arrived at East 
London, where it disembarked, and was distributed 
among various stations. 

In connection with the question of soldiers versus 
volunteers, was the one of who should have the direction 
of operations in the field. Sir Bartle Frere was of 
opinion that the general commanding her Majesty's 

1878] Retirement of the Molteno Ministry. 99 

troops was the proper person, under whose control all 
volunteers and colonial forces of every kind should be 
placed. This was necessary, he maintained, in order to 
prevent confusion and to secure that cooperation which 
was essential for speedy success. He was unwilling that 
the general should have supreme control beyond the Kei 
and a colonial officer have similar authority west of that 
river, because it was impossible to make a distinction in 
this instance between foreign and civil war, and because 
King-Williamstown being the base of operations, it was 
necessary to keep open the line of communication with 
the Transkei by posts garrisoned by regular troops at 
Kei Koad and Komgha, which coul'd not be placed under 
colonial control. The volunteers and all other forces 
should be provided for by the imperial commissariat, to 
keep down the expense which competition would increase, 
and a strict account could be kept, so that the colony 
might know exactly what its expenses were. 

Mr. Molteno on the other hand maintained that the 
rebellion was a matter with which the colony alone had 
to deal, that imperial troops were not needed for the 
purpose, that their employment might produce complica- 
tions in the final settlement, that being placed under 
the control of a military officer prevented volunteers from 
coming forward, and that as the colony was required to 
pay for the soldiers there was no saving in expense. He 
objected in particular to the general commanding her 
Majesty's troops being entrusted with the control of 
operations against the rebels, which were really of the 
nature of police duties, and which a colony possessing 
responsible government should be left unfettered to deal 
with in its own way. 

In accordance with these views, Mr. Merriman, com- 
missioner of crown lands and public works, who repre- 
sented the prime minister on the frontier, had for some 
time been issuing instructions to the colonial comman- 
dants without any reference to General Cunynghame, 

ioo History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 7 8 

who remained at Ibeka until the last week in January. 
On the 9th of January Mr. Molteno arrived in King- 
Williamstown, and soon afterwards the differences between 
him and the governor came to an issue. 

The conflicting views regarding this matter are here 
given in the words of the governor and the minister. On 
the 26th of January Sir Bartle Frere drew up a memo- 
randum on the subject, of which the following paragraphs 
are extracts : 

" The governor's commission recites, the constitution of 
the office of governor and commander-in-chief, with 
authority over ' all forts and garrisons, erected or estab- 
lished, or which shall be erected or established within 
our said Colony,' that his powers and authorities will be 
as specified in royal commissions, letters patent, and 
instructions under various forms from a secretary of 
state, and ' such laws as are or hereafter shall be in 
force in our said colony.' 

" It appears to me clear that the intention of the 
constitution was and is that there should be one person, 
the governor and commander-in-chief, in chief command 
of all military forces of every kind, colonial as well as 
imperial, performing all executive duties through a com- 
mander of the forces, whose commission gives him power 
to command her Majesty's troops, and who may be 
empowered by the governor and commander-in-chief to 
command colonial forces formally declared to be in the 
field of his operations. Such power to command colonial 
forces was formally given to his Excellency Sir Arthur 
(junynghame by authority of the governor and com- 
mander-in-chief of the colony, and has been exercised 
by him since our first meeting of four members of the 
executive council, after receiving the news of the first 
outbreak. His Excellency's powers in this respect have 
never been revoked by me. 

4 'Mr. Molteno now proposes to invest an office, to be 
created by himself, unknown as yet to parliament and 

1878] Retirement of the Molteno Ministry. 10 1 

the constitution, and unsanctioned by law, with powers 
of supreme command over all colonial forces, entirely 
independent, as I understand him, of all control or 
subordination to the governor or any other executive 
military or civil officer, recognised by parliament or the 

" To whom is this newly created officer intended to 
be responsible ? Obviously not to the governor and 
commander-in-chief, nor to the commander of the forces, 
for it is very clearly indicated in Mr. Molteno's memor- 
anda that he is not to be under their control, nor to 
parliament, for parliament can never have heard of him. 

''As a matter of fact, the executive control of all 
operations connected with the colonial forces appears, 
for the last ten days, to have rested entirely with the 
commissioner of crown lands and public works ; and, so 
far as I understand, is so to continue. I have never 
failed to do justice to the minister who now so ably 
fills that office ; but this arrangement is entirely 
unknown to parliament and to the constitution, and I 
cannot feel at all sure that it will be approved 
by parliament. 

"Let me briefly recapitulate the conclusions at which 
I have arrived, — 

"1. That the command of all forces in the field 
legally and by the constitution rests with the general 
officer commanding her Majesty's forces, when empowered 
by the governor as commander-in-chief to assume com- 
mand of colonial forces so employed. 

" 2. That the appointment of a commandant-general to 
command colonial forces in the field independent of the 
general officer commanding her Majesty's forces, em- 
powered as above by the governor and commander-in- 
chief, is at present illegal and unconstitutional. 

" 3. That his acts, and the acts of those that obey 
him, will be illegal, and will not be covered by any act 
of indemnity passed to absolve from penalties all who 

102 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

act as military taking part in military operations in the 

" 4. That the only legal and constitutional way for 
government to avail itself of the services of the comman- 
dant-general is to continue the system followed when 
Commandant-General Griffith was commandant of police, 
viz., that he should act in the field under the general 
control of the general commanding the forces, and that 
all colonial forces ready to take the field should from 
time to time as they go to the field be formally 
placed by the colonial government under the general's 
command for this purpose." 

On the 2nd of February Mr. Molteno drew up a 
minute, which was read at a meeting of the executive 
council, and of which the following paragraphs are extracts : 

" Ministers are prepared to undertake the responsibility 
of putting down rebellion in the speediest and most 
effectual manner, and they have expressed to his 
Excellency their opinion that this may best be carried 
out by colonial forces, led . by colonists, and not encum- 
bered by military impediments. 

■' They consider that to place such a force under the 
control of the military authorities would seriously impair 
its usefulness, and would tend to prolong the operations 
for an indefinite period. 

" By the constitution the responsibility of ministers 
was established, and their duties are to carry out the 
laws of the colony and to administer the business of 
the country according to the wishes of the parliament. 
The governor acts solely by and with their advice. 
Should an emergency fraught with danger to the country 
arise, for which the law makes no provision, ministers 
act on their own responsibility, and will be prepared to 
answer for their acts to that body whose representatives 
they are. 

"His Excellency the governor has, most properly, 
drawn attention to the evils of a dual system of adminis- 

J 878] Retirement of the Molteno Ministry. 103 

tration, which ministers entirely agree with his Excellency 
in deprecating. They would observe that the government 
of the country being by the constitution vested in a 
governor and a responsible ministry, to hand over the 
control of the colonial forces and the conduct of military 
operations within or adjacent to the colony to an 
officer not accountable to the government of the 
country, and not in any way controlled by them, would 
be giving practical effect to dual government of the 
worst kind." 

At the governor's instance the opinion of Mr. Stock- 
enstrom, the attorney-general, had been asked for, but 
as he was in Capetown it could not be given until the 
4th of February, when it was too late to be of any 
use except for historical purposes. It was as follows : 

" In my opinion governor's commission as commander- 
in-chief places under his control all her Majesty's troops 
stationed in this colony, but does not give him any 
power as commander-in-chief over the frontier armed and 
mounted police, the volunteers, or burghers. Over these 
colonial forces he has no greater authority than is vested 
in him by the various acts of parliament under which 
they are embodied; and the powers so vested in him by 
these acts he cannot now constitutionally exercise, except 
with the concurrence and under the advice of his ministers. 
Consequently the governor cannot, except with the consent 
of the latter, embody the colonial forces with those of 
her Majesty. ... In my opinion, the appointment of 
a commandant-general to direct the action of volunteers 
and police engaged in the colony in the suppression of 
rebellion is not illegal." 

At the meeting of the executive council on the 2nd 
of February, as Mr. Molteno maintained the views em- 
bodied in the minute quoted above, the governor informed 
him that he would accept his resignation. He had 
tendered it some days previously, when he realised that 
harmonious action was no longer possible, but the 

104 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

governor had refused to receive it, and the offer had 
been withdrawn. He now declined to renew it, and Mr. 
Merriman acted in the same manner. The governor then 
informed them that from that date they would under- 
stand they continued in office only until their successors 
were appointed. 

Mr. John Gordon (later Sir Gordon) Sprigg, a leading 
member of the opposition in parliament, undertook to 
form a new ministry, and four days later Messrs. 
Molteno and Merriman received from the civil com- 
missioner of King-Williamstown letters worded as follows : 

King-Williamstown, 6th of February 1878. 
" Sir, — I have the honour to inform you that by the 
authority vested in me as the Governor of this Colony 
I remove you from your office of . . ., and that from 
and after this date you will cease to hold the said office. 
I have instructed Mr. J. R. Innes, Civil Commissioner 
and Resident Magistrate of King Williamstown, who 
will deliver this letter to you, to receive charge of your 
records, documents, or public property of any description 
appertaining to your office, and to give a receipt for the 
same. I have, &c. 

(Signed) "H. B. Frere." 

The governor held that the dismissal of the prime 
minister did not necessarily involve the retirement of the 
other members of the ministry, and Messrs. Brownlee, 
White, and Stockenstrom were therefore informed that 
their resignations would be accepted if tendered. Mr. 
Brownlee, who was in King-Williamstown, tendered his 
at once, and so the office of secretary for native affairs 
became vacant. Dr. White, the treasurer, and Mr. Stock- 
enstrom, the attorney-general, were in Capetown. At 
first they declined to communicate with the governor 
officially except through Mr. Molteno, but when that 
gentleman was no longer in office, Dr. White tendered 
his resignation, which was accepted. Mr. Stockenstrom 

1878] Retirement of the Molteno Ministry. 105 

maintained that the dismissal of the prime minister 
involved his retirement without any further action, 
and he would not recede from that position, so was 
regarded as having vacated office. 

In this manner the first ministry under responsible 
government in the Cape Colony was obliged to relinquish 
the duties it had undertaken, without an adverse vote 
of parliament, indeed with a good working majority at 
the close of the last session. 

Under Mr. Molteno's guidance the colony had made a 
wonderful stride forward, compared with any advance in 
earlier years. Moderate men of both the leading Euro- 
pean nationalities had the utmost confidence in him as 
a thoroughly honest and perfectly safe man, one who 
would not cause disaster by running any needless risks. 
His attitude towards confederation, as can be seen now 
better than at the time, was the wisest one : he did 
not want a mere linking together of states with different 
interests, with the heaviest portion of the burden of 
defence resting on the Cape Colony, but a real solid 
union that could only be brought about by time, and to 
which improved communication by wire and rail, friendly 
intercourse, and trading facilities would tend more than 
anything else. Different views are held as to the sound- 
ness of the principle for which he contended, but 
whether right or wrong, he believed he was maintaining 
the privileges and carrying out the duties of the colony, 
and therefore would not give way. Of him it can be 
said, without fear of contradiction, that there was . no 
man of his time to whose memory more respect is due 
from South Africans than Mr. John Charles Molteno. 

The ministry that succeeded consisted of Mr. John 
Gordon Sprigg, member of the house of assembly for 
East London, premier and colonial secretary, Mr. John 
Miller, member of the legislative council for the eastern 
province, treasurer, Mr. John Laing, member of the 
house of assembly for Fort Beaufort, commissioner of 

106 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 7^ 

crown lands and public works, Mr. William Ayliff, also 
member of the house of assembly for Fort Beaufort, 
secretary for native affairs, and Mr. Thomas Upington, 
an advocate of the supreme court practising in Capetown, 
for whom a seat in the house of assembly was found 
at Colesberg, attorney general. There was no represen- 
tative of a western constituency in it, and none of the 
members were Dutch speakers. It was in full accord 
with the views of the governor, and announced as its first 
object the organisation of a competent defensive force for 
the protection of the eastern border. 

On the 4th of February 1878 Lord Carnarvon retired 
from the office of secretary of state for the colonies, and 
was succeeded by Sir Michael Hicks Beach, who on the 
21st of March wrote a despatch to Sir Bartle Frere, 
from which the following paragraphs are extracts : 

" An important constitutional question is raised by it 
as to the power of the prime minister of the Cape 
Colony to appoint an Executive officer to take command 
of military operations without your consent as Governor 
and Commander-in-Chief. 

" I cannot concur with Mr. Molteno if he holds that 
a minister has a right at any moment to appoint an officer 
unknown to the constitution without the sanction of Par- 
liament, and in opposition to the judgment of the 
Governor, and to assign to him functions which would 
give him paramount authority above that of the Governor 
himself in all military matters, more especially after 
martial law had been proclaimed. 

" It should be borne in mind that, in consequence of 
the peculiar conditions of the Colony and the adjacent 
territories, responsible government, as established at the 
Cape, has necessarily been made subject to a limitation 
not elsewhere required. 

"... in affairs such as those in which you have 
been recently engaged, your functions have been clearly 
defined by the terms of your commission. 

1878] Retirement of the Molteno Ministry. 107 

" As the Queen's High Commissioner you are ' specially 
required and instructed to do all such things as you 
lawfully can to prevent the recurrence of any irruption 
into Her Majesty's possessions of tribes inhabiting the 
adjacent territories, and to maintain those possessions in 
peace and safety.' And ' all the Queen's officers and 
ministers, civil and military, are commanded and required 
to aid and assist you to this end.' " 

The governor was still residing in a barrack in King- 
Williamstown, separated from his family and without the 
comforts and conveniences of his home in Capetown. He 
believed it to be his duty to remain on the frontier 
while the disturbances lasted, but at length the necessity 
of preparing for the meeting of parliament compelled 
him to return to the seat of government. On the 26th of 
March he left King-Williamstown, and in the afternoon 
of that day reached Alice, where he met a warm 
welcome at the Lovedale missionary institution. On the 
following afternoon by his desire the chief Oba and 
three or four hundred men of his clan, under the guid- 
ance of the author of these volumes, paid their respects 
to his Excellency, and were very kindly received and com- 
mended for their conduct in following the advice given 
to them by the government agent. The work being done 
at the institution was inspected, and was regarded as 
most satisfactory. 

On the 28th the governor and his attendants went on 
to Fort Beaufort, and on the following evening reached 
Grahamstown, where the usual preparations had been 
made by the municipal authorities and the inhabitants to 
entertain him in a becoming manner. Two full days 
were passed here, and then his Excellency made the last 
stage of his land journey to Port Elizabeth, where a 
repetition of his entertainment at Grahamstown awaited 
him. The receptions and dinners and speechmakings, at 
which no one could excel Sir Bartle Frere in suavity of 
manner, being at length finished, his Excellency embarked 

108 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

in the mail steamer, and arrived in Capetown on the 
7th of April. He had been absent from the seat of 
government between seven and eight months. 

Mr. Molteno had proposed to summon parliament to 
meet on the 21st of March, but the new ministry natur- 
ally needed more time to prepare the bills to be laid 
before it, and the session was only opened on the 10th 
of May. Throughout the country the liveliest interest 
was taken in the approaching struggle between the old 
and new ministries, some people maintaining that respon- 
sible government was a farce if an imperial officer, not 
accountable in any way to parliament or the ministry, 
was to have control of all colonial forces, while others 
held that a debt of gratitude was due to the governor 
for calling upon the general and the regular troops 
to protect the 'colony in the condition of unpre- 
paredness in which it was when the disturbances 
occurred. Apart too from the actual points at issue, 
people were interested in the coming struggle because 
upon the decision of the parliament would rest whether 
the eminent and highly talented governor remained in 
South Africa or not. Nearly every one felt that the 
colony ranked higher among the British dependencies by 
having such a man as its head, and many believed that 
it would be a mistake to do anything that would cause 
his removal. Then too all the people of the eastern 
border, who naturally favoured the new ministry, and all 
the advocates of immediate confederation, who regarded 
Mr. Molteno as an obstacle in their way, lost sight of 
the constitutional question at issue, and allowed it to 
sink into insignificance in view of what to them was of 
much greater importance, the triumph of their own 
By them the meeting of parliament was anxiously 

In the governor's opening speech there was no allusion 
to the subject that occupied all minds, which of course 
would have been out of place in it. It foreshadowed the 

8 7 8 ] Retirement of the Molteno Ministry. 109 

policy of disarmament, which was later to have such 
serious consequences, mentioned the temporary suspension 
of immigration from Europe owing to the war, and 
referred to confederation in the following terms : 

" The attention of my ministers will be directed at an 
early opportunity towards approaching the neighbouring 
states and colonies, with a view to a joint and friendly 
investigation of such a basis as may provide a sound 
foundation for a satisfactory measure of confederation." 
The following bills were at once introduced: 
For the better preservation of peace within the colony; 
For the establishment of a colonial yeomanry force ; 
To provide for the organisation of the inhabitants of 
this colony for the defence thereof; 
For the regulation of volunteer corps ; 
To organise, establish, and regulate a force for the 
better protection of life and property in the colony, to 
be called the Cape Mounted Rifles. 

All of these were measures of great importance, and 
indicated that the new ministry was intent upon carrying 
out thoroughly its promise to the country. At the time 
the policy thus marked out was popular, and it had an 
influence upon the big debate that soon came on. 

This was introduced by Mr. Merriman who, after due 
notice, moved on the 23rd of May that 

" 1. In the opinion of this house the control over the 
colonial forces is vested in his Excellency the governor 
only acting under the advice of ministers ; 

"2. That it was not within the constitutional functions 
of his Excellency the governor to insist on the control 
and supply of the colonial forces being placed under the 
military authorities, except with the consent of ministers ; 
"3. That the action taken by his Excellency the 
governor in that matter has been attended with results 
prejudicial to the colony, and has delayed the termination 
of the rebellion." 

This was seconded by Mr. Manuel. 

no History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 7 8 

The debate that followed showed not only great differ- 
ences of opinion as to the constitutional bearing of what 
had occurred, but the widest possible divergence of views 
as to actual occurrences. 

On the one side it was asserted that Messrs. Molteno and 
Merriman had ignored the governor in important matters, 
that they had in an illegal and unconstitutional manner 
directed the movements of colonial forces, not by way of 
advice to the governor, but upon their own responsibility 
alone, and that they had made appointments, including 
that of the commandant-general, without the sanction of 
the governor. 

In the spirit of these views, Mr. Boyes, their extreme 
exponent, gave notice that when Mr. Merriman's proposi- 
tion was put to the vote, he would move as an amend- 
ment that 

u 1. In the opinion of this house the conduct of the 
late ministers, and especially of the late commissioner of 
crown lands and public works, in wholly ignoring his 
Excellency the governor and assuming the control over 
the colonial forces, and as commander-in-chief directing 
aggressive movements and appointing officers without the 
concurrence, or even the knowledge, of his Excellency, 
was most unjustifiable ; 

"2. That the thanks of the colony, as represented by 
this house, are due to his Excellency the governor for 
causing the imperial and colonial forces to be supplied 
through one commissariat department, instead of having 
two supply departments competing with each other, and 
thus raising the price of provisions considerably, and that 
the conduct of the late ministers in this respect was 
unconstitutional, extravagant, and unwarrantable ; 

"3. That the action taken by the late ministers tended 
to increase the number of the queen's enemies, forced 
into rebellion tribes not otherwise disposed to be hostile, 
and that their conduct has in every way been indefens- 
ible, and has tended to prolong the war and rebellion.' 

1878] Retirement of the Molteno Ministry. in 

On the other hand, Mr. Molteno maintained that so far 
from ignoring the governor, he had supplied his Excellency 
with all the information obtainable, that all telegrams, 
without a single exception, received by him in Capetown 
had been immediately forwarded, and that his Excellency 
was as well acquainted with every transaction as he was 
himself. Every effort possible had been made to get 
colonial forces together, the chief obstacle being that the 
burghers were unwilling to serve under military com- 
manders who knew nothing whatever of the conditions 
of Kaffir warfare, but that by the middle of January a 
sufficient number had assembled on the frontier to deal 
with the rebellion without employing regular troops. 
There were at that time three thousand European 
volunteers and two thousand Fingos in the field, con- 
stituting a force ample for the purpose. In the threatening 
condition of things in Europe, caused by the war between 
Kussia and Turkey, he thought the troops could be more 
usefully employed in other parts of the empire, though 
we should be none the less grateful to the authorities 
in England for sending them to our assistance when it 
was thought they were needed. 

He asserted that the governor paid no heed to the 
advice given by the ministers, but contended that he 
had independent power as commander-in-chief over the 
colonial forces, and could do as he liked. The ministers 
held that in this, as in all other matters connected 
with the government of the colony, without any excep- 
tion whatever, the governor was constitutionally bound to 
act only by and with the advice of his responsible 
ministers. Had he (Mr. Molteno) believed that the 
governor would persist in maintaining his views, he would 
have tendered his resignation forthwith, but suddenly at 
a meeting of the executive council he was informed that 
he was dismissed. This was the difference in their opinions 
regarding the matter: had the governor independent 
power as commander-in-chief, or was his power limited 

H2 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

by the necessity of acting only by the advice of 
ministers ? 

It has been said that the secretary of state for the 
colonies «was of the same opinion in this matter as the 
governor himself, and this was made known to parlia- 
ment before the close of the debate, .the tone of which 
was thereafter affected by it. Mr. Molteno was thus 
contending for the full privileges of responsible govern- 
ment, which, according to Sir Michael Hicks Beach's 
decision, the colony did not possess at the time, and 
which it only acquired when the imperial troops were 
withdrawn. In such a case, the position of the late 
ministry was hopeless. 

As for the appointment of Mr. Griffith as commandant- 
general of the colonial forces, Mr. Molteno maintained 
that he had consulted the governor, who did not refuse 
to give his consent, and that two days subsequently, 
when it was proposed to invest Mr. Griffith with the 
order of St. Michael and St. George, he suggested to 
his Excellency that the investiture should be delayed 
until the appointment was gazetted, which was agreed 
to. He contended therefore that his Excellency was a 
party to the appointment, and was fully cognisant of all 
that was going on. 

Mr. Merriman maintained that he had been forced by 
circumstances to occupy the position of director of opera- 
tions in the field, and that the governor had been a 
party to his taking that duty upon him. 

Mr. Stockenstrom stated that no appointment of im- 
portance had been made without the governor's sanction. 
It was not usual to submit every trivial appointment to 
a governor, whose time was too valuable to be taken up 
with petty acts of detail, though as a matter of form 
such appointments were gazetted as being made by his 
authority. He challenged the new ministry to bring for- 
ward a single instance of the ordinary practice in such 
matters having been departed from. 

1878] Retirement of the Molteno Ministry. 113 

Such in brief were the accusations on one side and 
the assertions on the other made by the opposing parties 
in the house of assembly, some members maintaining that 
the late ministry, or at least one member of it, for 
whose action all were responsible, had assumed illegal 
authority and had ignored the governor; others asserting 
in the most positive terms that his Excellency had been 
completely recognised and consulted in every instance. 
The question of the governor's special power in the Cape 
Colony, on account of the alleged incompleteness of 
responsible government here, was not brought under 

On the 29th of May, when the debate was about to 
be resumed, the speaker, Sir David Tennant, ruled that 
the second and third paragraphs of Mr. Merriman's 
motion " could not be entertained by the house in the 
form in which they were presented, it being contrary to 
constitutional principle and parliamentary practice to move 
any direct censure of his Excellency the governor as the 
representative of the sovereign, — and it being held, by 
the authorities on parliamentary government, that the 
ministry in office are responsible for the action of his 
Excellency the governor." In accordance with this ruling, 
the speaker stated that " only the first paragraph of Mr. 
Merriman's motion was at present before the house, viz.: 
In the opinion of this house, the control of the colonial 
forces is vested in his Excellency the governor only 
acting under the advice of ministers." 

This had the effect of delaying the debate until the 
31st of May, when Mr. Merriman amended his motion 
by submitting the following clauses in place of those 
ruled as irregular : 

" 2. That it is not within the constitutional functions 
of his Excellency the governor to insist on the control 
and supply of the colonial forces being placed under 
the military authorities, except with the consent of 

H4 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

"3. That the assumption of the command of colonial 
forces by Sir A. Cunynghame in January last, contrary 
to the advice of ministers, was not justified or advisable 
under the existing circumstances." 

Upon this Mr. Maasdorp moved, and Mr. P. Water- 
meyer seconded, as an amendment, that "the house, having 
before it the papers connected with the late change of 
ministry, does not see that the doctrine that the gover- 
nor controls the colonial forces under the advice of his 
ministry has been called in question by the governor, 
but, on the contrary, is strongly affirmed ; and the house 
is of opinion that, under all the circumstances of the 
case, the removal from office of the late ministry was 

The debate was continued without any fresh argument 
being brought forward on either side, except that the 
ministers had agreed at the commencement of hostilities 
in Galekaland that the colonial forces should be placed 
under the command of General Sir Arthur Cunynghame, 
which authority had never been withdrawn from him, 
and the contention on the other side that there was a 
marked difference between a war in extra-colonial terri- 
tory and rebellion in the colony itself. 

At this stage the notice of motion standing in the 
name of Mr. Boyes was withdrawn, and on the 3rd of 
June Mr. Moore moved, and Mr. Louw seconded, as an 
amendment to Mr. Maasdorp's amendment : 

" That in the opinion of this house the dismissal of 
the late ministry under the circumstances submitted by 
the government has not been justified." 

On the 6th of June the long debate came to an end. 
On that day Mr. Merriman's motion was rejected, and 
Mr. Maasdorp's was carried by thirty-seven votes to 
twenty-two, when Mr. Moore's amendment of course 

With such a large majority to support him, Mr. Sprigg 
had no difficulty in carrying the measures he deemed 

i^7 8] Retirement of the Molteno Ministry. 115 

necessary for the defence of the frontier districts. They 
consisted of 

1. The establishment of a force to be called the Cape 
Mounted Yeomanry. By Act 5 of 1878 this was to 
consist of three regiments, not exceeding one thousand 
men in each, whose head-quarters were to be respec- 
tively King-Williamstown, Queenstown, and Uitenhage. 
They were to agree to serve for three years, and were 
liable to be called out for duty whenever needed and to 
remain in the field as long as required. They were to 
drill one day in every month and one week in every 
year. The government was to provide them with arms, 
ammunition, and camp equipage, and was to allow them 
^25 for the purchase of a horse, saddle, and bridle and 
j£15 yearly for the maintenance of the horse during the 
second and third years. During the yearly drill and 
when on active service, they were to receive pay at the 
following rates : captains 15s., lieutenants lis., surgeons 
31s. 6d., sergeants 6s., corporals 5s., and privates 4s. a 
day. Each regiment was to be under the command of 
an officer to be termed lieutenant-colonel. 

2. By Act 7 of 1878, entitled "to provide for the 
organisation of the inhabitants of this colony for the 
defence thereof," all burghers between the ages of 
eighteen and fifty years were to be enrolled, and, with 
certain exceptions, were made liable in case of need to 
be called out for service. They were to be divided into 
two classes : the first consisting of those from eighteen 
to thirty years of age, and the second those from thirty 
to fifty. They were at liberty to elect their own officers, 
and when on service were to be provided with material 
of war and to be paid at the following rates : comman- 
dants 20s., captains 15s., mounted privates 4s., and un- 
mounted men 3s., a day. Coloured inhabitants were also 
made liable to be called out, and under the name of 
levies were to be paid 2s. 6d. a day when on active 

n6 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

3. By Act 9 of 1878 the frontier armed and mounted 
police were made subject to much stricter discipline than 
previously, and thereafter were to be termed the Cape 
Mounted Riflemen. They, of course, were to be con- 
stantly on duty, and were regarded as the first line of 
defence, all the others being auxiliaries, to be called out 
only if needed. 

4. Act 10 of 1878 provided for the regulation of 
volunteer corps. It encouraged their formation, exempted 
them from duty as ordinary burghers, made them subject 
to be called out for service, and regulated their payment 
and the supply of rations for themselves and their horses 
when in the field. 

These several acts gave the government command of a 
military force extending in the last resort to practically 
nearly every man capable of bearing arms in the colony. 
But the cost was enormous, £75,000 for horses alone 
for the yeomanry regiments, and to meet it new taxes 
were imposed. 

1. By Act 2 of 1878 an excise duty was imposed of 
one shilling per imperial gallon upon spirits distilled or 
manufactured within the colony. This met with much 
opposition, on account of its inquisitorial nature in a 
country where every vinedresser was a distiller, and its 
falling upon one section of the people only. Some of 
the most thoughtful men in parliament opposed it 
because they foresaw the bitter racial feeling that it 
would create, but it was carried, and the farmers' 
protection union, followed by the Afrikander bond was the 

2. Act 18 of 1878 increased the customs duties on 
spirits, tobacco, and confectionery imported. This was 
not objected to by any one, and was rather favoured by 

farming population as a protective measure. 

3. Act 20 of 1878 imposed a duty upon all houses 
and buildings, if under the value of £100 of 10s. a 
year, from .€100 to £500 20s., from £500 to £750 30s., 

1878] The Disarmament Act. 117 

from £750 to £1,000 40s., and for every £250 or fraction 
of £250 above £1,000 20s. additional. 

Another measure introduced by Mr. Sprigg and adopted 
by parliament in 1878 led three years later to disastrous 
consequences to the ministry that favoured it. This was 
Act 13 " for the better preservation of peace within the 
colony," popularly known as the disarmament act. It 
provided that the governor might by proclamation name 
any district within which no arms of any kind might be 
possessed without a license. All guns, pistols, assagais, 
and other implements of war were thereupon to be 
surrendered to the magistrate of the district, who would 
grant receipts for them, and as soon as their value 
could be appraised, that amount would be paid to those 
who had owned them. As will be seen in further 
chapters, this act might with more propriety have been 
termed " for the promotion of discontent and war within 
the colony," but in political matters things do not 
always have their right names given to them, and when 
this act was passed its framers could not foresee its 
consequences. They were as yet without experience, and 
were much less cautious than Mr. Molteno would 
have been. 



Immediately after the battle of Kentani Sandile with 
his followers recrossed the Kei and occupied the rugged 
country along the lower course of the Thomas river, which 
was well adapted for defensive purposes. There they might 
hope to hold out as long as their food and ammunition 
lasted, and that was enough to give them confidence, as 
they did not look far into the future. 

Their presence in the Thomas river valley was soon 
made known to the colonists. On the 23rd of February 
a detachment of one hundred and eighty Queenstown 
volunteers, sixty-five Hottentot levies, and a hundred Fingos, 
under Captain Harvey, that was out on patrol, was at 
breakfast on the bank of the river, when it was suddenly 
attacked by from eight hundred to a thousand Gaikas 
under Sandile's son Matanzima, who rushed upon it in a 
determined manner. Most of them were armed with 
assagais only, but some had guns, which they fired without 
doing any damage, as they almost invariably aimed too high 
or shut their eyes when they pulled the trigger. The 
volunteers and levies had their rifles beside them, and were 
not unprepared, as the insurgents believed they would be. 
They were therefore able to pour in a deadly fire, which 
checked the onrush of Matanzima's men, who fell back, 
but soon rallied and came on again. The ground was of 
such a nature that the Kaffirs were not fully exposed 
during the whole of the engagement, which lasted two 
hours before they fled, carrying their wounded with them. 
One hundred and twenty-eight dead bodies were counted on 
the field, equal to one-seventh or one-eighth of the number 

1878] Suppression of the Rebellion. 119 

that attacked, and many others were believed to have died 
afterwards of their wounds. The Gaikas seemed to have 
lost their old skill in hurling assagais, for, though some of 
them were several times within fifty metres distance, only 
one volunteer was hurt. 

Reports were now received that a powerful force was 
being collected by Tini, son of Makoma, in the Waterkloof, 
and that cattle thefts were being carried on in the district 
of Fort Beaufort to an extent that could hardly be exceeded 
by losses in open war. Mr. William B. Chalmers, civil 
commissioner of Cradock, who had been acquainted with 
these people since his childhood, was therefore sent by the 
government to Fort Beaufort to ascertain the exact condi- 
tion of matters, and he found things quite as bad as 
represented. Tini had fully a thousand Gaika warriors with 
him in the strongholds of the Waterkloof, where under 
colonial law he had been enabled to purchase ground and 
take up his residence. 

Lieutenant - Colonel Palmer, of the ninetieth regiment, 
whose head-quarters were at Fort Beaufort, was now directed 
to clear the Waterkloof, and volunteers in sufficient number 
were sent to make up his active force to twelve hundred 
men. On the 4th of March he commenced operations, 
but met with hardly any resistance. Tini was not the 
courageous guerilla leader that his father had been ; he 
seemed anxious only to get out of danger, and his men 
followed his example. He and they managed to make their 
escape from the Waterkloof and conceal themselves in the 
Amatola forest, so that Colonel Palmer without any loss 
scoured the strongholds held so long by Makoma in the 
previous war. There was not much spoil to gather, and 
when the huts were burned and posts were formed to 
prevent the return of the Gaikas, the remainder of the 
force retired. 

On the 25th of February 1878 Lieutenant-General the 
honourable Frederick Augustus Thesiger, C.B. (later 
Lord Chelmsford), arrived at the Cape as successor to 

120 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 7^ 

Sir Arthur Cunynghame, and on the 4th of March he 
assumed at King-Willianistown the command of the 
imperial troops and the colonial forces. 

He found an expedition under Commandant-General 
Griffith about to march against Sandile in the Thomas 
Eiver valley. On the 8th of March this expedition 
entered the valley and began to scour it, but the men 
who had only a fortnight before attacked Captain Harvey 
with such determination seemed to have lost all heart, 
and made only a very feeble resistance. Seventy of 
them were killed, without any loss on the colonial side, 
and twelve hundred head of cattle, which they depended 
upon for food, were captured. Sandile himself, his sons, 
and some eight hundred of his men managed to elude 
the colonial forces and escape to the westward, the 
next thing that was known of them being that they were 
in the Perie bush. 

A reward of £500 was now offered for the capture of 
Sandile, and an attempt was made to surround that por- 
tion of the forest occupied by the rebels and either 
make them prisoners or destroy them. From the 10th to 
the 17th of March the troops and colonial forces were 
engaged in this task, but the area of operations was so 
extensive and the ground was so difficult for Europeans 
to traverse that they met with much less success than 
they hoped for. The principal events of these days 
occurred on the 11th and 15th of March. On the 11th 
a portion of the division of volunteers under Comman- 
dant Frederick Schermbrucker fell in with a party of 
Gaikas, with whom they had two skirmishes, killing nine 
of them, but losing a very promising young man named 
ilillier, of Bowker's rovers, and having another wounded. 
They managed to secure three hundred head of horned 
cattle, two hundred and ninety sheep, and four horses. 
On the 15th Lieutenant Andrews, of the George volun- 
, with thirty of his own men and twenty-seven of 
the Stutterheim German police encountered about two 

l8 7 8 ] Suppression of the Rebellion. 121 

hundred Gaikas under Matanzima, most of whom man- 
aged to get away, but fifty-five took shelter in a small 
thicket. There they were surrounded and prevented from 
moving out until reinforcements from Commandant 
Frost's division, under Captain Ella, arrived, when, as 
they would not surrender, they were all shot. Captain 
Ella and three of the volunteers were wounded, but no 
lives were lost on the colonial side. 

General Thesiger then arranged the forces under his 
command differently, but still on the same plan of sur- 
rounding the rebels and then scouring the country 
enclosed. He had at his disposal for this purpose five 
hundred and fifty-five infantry, one thousand one hundred 
and eighty-five cavalry, one thousand two hundred and 
fifty-nine Fingos, and four seven-pounder guns, in addi- 
tion to a company of soldiers under Colonel Law, of 
the royal artillery, who had also with him thirty-two 
marines and twenty-four sailors with two twenty-four 
pounder rocket tubes, under Lieutenant Craigie, of the royal 
navy. The remainder of the naval brigade had embarked 
at East London in the transport Himalaya on the 16th of 
March to return to the Active in Simon's Bay. The 
troops and volunteers were formed in six divisions, 
led respectively by Lieutenant-Colonel Evelyn Wood, 
V.C., C.B., Lieutenant-Colonel Degacher, of the second 
battalion of the twenty-fourth regiment, Commandant J. 
(later Sir John) Frost, Commandant Schermbrucker, Com- 
mandant Venter, and Commandant Brabant. On the 18th 
of March operations were commenced, but were impeded by 
heavy rain unusually cold for that time of year, which 
lasted with short intervals for four days, and caused 
great discomfort to those who were without blankets or 
shelter. There was also such difficulty in conveying other 
food than beef to some of the divisions that they were 
suffering from hunger as well. 

On the 19th Captain Bradshaw was killed while leading 
a party of Fingos who were scouring a ravine, and on 

122 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

the 21st two officers of the diamond field horse, Captain 
Donovan and Lieutenant Ward, met the same fate. The 
attempt to capture or destroy the rebels failed, and on 
the 21st was abandoned. Between sixty and seventy 
Kaffirs, however, had been killed, and sixty horses and 
two hundred head of cattle had been captured. On the 
colonial side, in addition to the three officers above named, 
one soldier and four Fingos were killed, and four 
volunteers and seven Fingos were wounded. 

No men were made prisoners, but before the colonial 
forces retired about five hundred Kaffir women and 
children came out of the forest and threw themselves 
upon the mercy of the white men, begging piteously for 
food, as they said they were starving. Their emaciated 
appearance confirmed this statement, so there was no 
doubt that they told the truth. The question then arose 
what was to be done with them, for humanity forbade 
their being driven away and left to perish, and on the 
other hand prudence forbade their being supplied with 
provisions where they were.- Such women formed the 
intelligence department of the Kaffir army. They knew 
they had nothing to fear from white men, and they 
took care to avoid the Fingos, who w r ould not have 
scrupled to maltreat them. A Kaffir woman's duty is to 
find food for her husband, even if she has to do with 
very little herself, and it was certain that if for instance 
a few biscuits were given to one of them, the largest 
share would be conveyed to the chief Sandile, a some- 
what smaller share to her husband, and only what was 
then left would be eaten by the children and herself. 
Who that knows these people has not been shocked by 
seeing strong men taking the most and best of what 
there is, while women and children wait patiently and 
express their thanks for whatever remains when the men 
are satiated? Another reason why these women could 
not be provided for and permitted to remain at large 
was that they served as spies and communicated to the 

l8 7 8 J Suppression of the Rebellion. 123 

men in the forest intelligence of every movement made 
by the colonial forces. And still another reason was 
that maize was then exceedingly dear in the eastern 
districts, being sold at £3 a muid, or about 8%d. a 
kilogramme. At the planting time and long after no 
rain had fallen, and consequently there were no crops 
that season, which caused the scarcity. In many parts 
of the country too transport was made impossible by 
an extraordinary plague of caterpillars, that devoured 
every green thing, and left the ground as bare as a 
rock. Where the moths came from that produced the 
caterpillars no one could tell, they had suddenly appeared 
in vast swarms in places hundreds of miles apart, and 
filled the air almost like locusts. 

These causes combined to prevent the placing of the 
famished women and children in concentration camps, 
and keeping them on the frontier. Those that appealed 
for food on the outskirts of the Perie were supplied 
temporarily from the commissariat stores, but were 
placed under guard and not permitted to leave until the 
government could decide what to do with them. The 
government resolved to send them to Capetown, where 
they would be out of the way of doing harm, and then 
they were taken to East London and placed on board a 
coasting steamer. The same course was adopted with 
those who were found in a similar condition afterwards, 
until nearly four thousand Kaffir women and children 
were forwarded to the west. A few old men and some 
cripples were dealt with in the same manner, the total 
number of both sexes and all ages removed to Capetown 
by sea during the rebellion being three thousand eight 
, hundred and seventy-eight. The mortality during the 
short passage was high, as the poor creatures were in 
very low condition when they went on board and almost 
without exception suffered severely from sea sickness, but 
it would have been vastly higher if they had been left 
to look after themselves. 

124 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 7 8 

On arriving in Capetown they were taken to a very 
large building in the southern suburb, and were placed 
under the care of Dr. Clinton, who had charge of the 
place. There they soon regained flesh, and in the course 
of a month were as strong and thoughtless as ever. The 
government imported maize from South America, which 
cost less than a third of the price on the frontier, and 
maize meal from the United States, which with butchers' 
meat once a week, and pumpkins when they could be 
obtained, constituted their diet. They had never in their 
lives before had a better or more regular supply of food. 
As soon as they were quite strong they were moved in 
parties of three or four hundred together to stations in 
the country districts, where they could be more comfort- 
able than in Capetown. No direct pressure was put 
upon them to enter service, but as it was clearly to 
their advantage to do so, most of them voluntarily 
engaged as domestics. Beyond food, lodging, medical 
attendance, and a blanket for each individual, the 
government provided them with nothing, and they craved 
for handkerchiefs to cover their heads with and for 
pipes and tobacco, which most Kaffir women regard as 
essentials of comfortable existence. To obtain these they 
were willing to enter into service, and the government was 
equally willing that they should do so. 

But it was never their intention to remain long in 
the western districts, and as soon as the cold winter 
weather was over and they could sleep without discom- 
fort in the open air, they began to desert and make 
their way back to the scenes of their childhood, where 
they could see the peak of Intaba-ka-Ndoda and drink 
the sweet water of the Keiskama once more. The long 
walk of five or six hundred miles had no terror for 
them. They would beg from the farmers or would work 
for a day or a week on the road to get food for a few 
days more, and then push on, ever eastward, until at 
fountain they knew so well rose before thei 

1878] Suppression of the Rebellion, 125 

eyes, and they felt that they were at home once more. 
Home ! the land through which the Keiskama flowed could 
never be their home again. Many, very many of them 
found themselves widows, for a large proportion of the 
Gaika men had perished, and those that remained alive 
had no home except beyond the Kei. Then they became 
scattered, some of them took service in the frontier 
districts, others found their way over the Kei to Kentani, 
others again formed new connections with clans alien 
to the Gaikas. In 1879 the government sent those who 
had not taken service back to the east, and with this 
act the narrative of the removal of the families of the 
rebels to a distant locality ends. It seems perhaps a 
cruel measure, but it was necessary for the prosecution 
of military operations, and it certainly saved many 
hundreds of lives. 

Daring the remainder of March there were no further 
operations against the Gaikas, but some successes were 
gained elsewhere. On the 23rd of the month Major 
Elliot with some European volunteers and a band of 
Gangelizwe's Tembus inflicted a crushing defeat upon 
Stokwe, when sixty of that petty chief's men were 
killed, and twelve hundred head of horned cattle, two 
hundred horses, and two thousand sheep were captured. 
He and the remnant of his clan were driven out of 
Maxongo's Hoek, and his kraals with everything in 
them were burnt. 

On the 28th Commandant Von Linsingen with three 
hundred volunteers and six hundred Fingos moved towards 
the Tshalumna district east of the lower Keiskama to 
attack the Gunukwebes under Delima, son of Pato, who 
had gone into rebellion without being able to assign any 
reason for doing so, and who had since been plundering 
the farms in that part of the country, from which the 
owners had been compelled to remove. On the 31st he was 
successful in a skirmish and captured nearly two thousand 
head of cattle, and on the following day by a skilful 

126 History of the Cape Colony. L l8 7^ 

movement he succeeded in capturing about a thousand 
head more and killed thirty-one of the herdsmen, without 
any loss to himself. 

It was at this stage, when the hopelessness of success 
by the rebels should have been apparent to every one 
possessing eyes and ears, that the Ndlambe chief Jali, son 
of Umkayi, and the Dushane chief Siyolo threw in their 
lot with the enemies of the government. Nothing could 
show more forcibly how similar the minds of adult bar- 
barians are in such matters to those of little children, who 
rush into acts without the slightest reflection of what the 
consequences may be. Jali was half a simpleton, but old 
Siyolo was a man of such large and varied experience in 
war and had suffered so much and so often in his own 
person for having fought against the colonial government 
in former years, that the smallest atom of prudence should 
have prevented him from acting as he now did. 

Jali and his men managed to make their way into the 
forest back of Intaba-ka-Ndoda, and Siyolo, having been 
joined by some of the followers of his half-brother Siwani 
and some men of William Shaw Kama's clan, attempted 
to follow him. When he reached the Debe neck, within 
a very short distance of his destination, he had twelve 
hundred men with him and a herd of cattle intended for 
food, but there he came in contact with a patrol of 
the diamond field horse, seventy-five in number, under 
Colonel Warren, of the royal engineers. Against well 
mounted men in the open field the Kaffirs stood no chance 
at all, their only hope of safety lay in dispersing and trying 
to reach broken ground, which they succeeded in doing, 
but left fifty-eight dead men behind, among whom were 
two sons of Siyolo. They were obliged also to abandon 
about three hundred head of their commissariat cattle. It 
was believed that many of those who escaped were more 
or less severely wounded, but of this there was of course 
no certainty. The women and children left behind at 
their kraals were collected together and sent to East 

l8 7 8 J Suppression of the Rebellion. 127 

London to be forwarded by steamer to Capetown, and 
the location ground was confiscated. 

Of the Rarabe clans there were few that were not 
now broken up. The Imidange were all in arms against 
the white man, but their number was so small that it 
mattered very little what part they took. The Amantinde 
professed to be loyal, but they too had dwindled into in- 
significance. On the 30th of March the old chief Toyise 
died, and during his illness and the period of mourning 
after his death custom and etiquette required his clan to 
sit still, possibly they would have done so under any 
circumstances. Siwani, who had always conducted himself 
to the satisfaction of the government, and the Christian 
chief William Shaw Kama, who, on the death of his 
father on the 25th of October 1875 succeeded as head of 
the clan, remained loyal, — the former even sent some men 
to assist the government, — but many of their people had 
joined Siyolo. All the others of any note have been 
accounted for. 

On the 3rd of April a thousand Fingos arrived from 
the Transkei under Mr. James Ayliff, and on the 5 th 
the work of scouring the Perie bush began again. Very 
few Xosas were found in it, as the great majority of 
them had gone farther westward, but most of those that 
were seen were killed. Their number by this time was 
so diminished that even with the accessions brought by 
Tini, Jali, and Siyolo they were not nearly as strong as 
they had been when Sandile listened to the appeal of 
Kiva, and by so doing brought destruction upon his 
people. Their ammunition was almost expended, their 
food was uncertain and scanty, they were without shelter 
in the forest, and they seemed to have lost all courage, 
for they tried only to get away when the white men or 
Fktgos were near. Yet they refused to surrender while 
their chiefs had no assurance of safety and personal liberty. 

On the 6th of April the forest back of Intaba-ka- 
Ndoda was scoured by the Fingos, and several Kaffirs 

128 History of the Cape Colony. [ l8 78 

were killed, among them being the chief Jali, whose 
career as a rebel was thus very short. But the efforts 
repeatedly made to enclose the insurgents in a limited 
space and then deal with them always failed, because 
the forest was of such great extent that the Kaffirs, 
who could move about in it far more easily than 
Europeans, managed to make their way through the 
cordon and escape to another part. It would have 
needed a force ten times as great as was at any time 
in the field to prevent them from doing this. 

Much greater success attended the colonial forces 
operating against the hostile Tembus. Gongubela was 
captured, and on the 8th of April was brought a 
prisoner to Queenstown with thirteen of his men. In 
less than a fortnight later Stokwe and Umfanta were 
also captured, and thereafter all resistance ceased in the 
part of the country they had occupied. 

A new plan for dealing with the rebel Xosas was 
now adopted by Lieutenant-General Thesiger. On the 
17th of April he divided the territory occupied by them 
into eleven military districts', each of which was placed 
under a commandant, with a force sufficient to prevent 
the rebels from having any rest. When it was found 
that they were congregating in any particular locality 
reinforcements were sent there to harass them, and 
their retreats were scoured by the Fingos, while at 
proper positions volunteers and soldiers were stationed 
to intercept them when they tried to get away. The 
Fingos, under Commandants Lonsdale, Streatfeild, and 
Allan Maclean became adepts in hunting the Xosas 
id the forest, and in securing every head of cattle 
intended for food, till the rebels were well nigh starved. 
All their women and children were gradually captured 
and sent to the west, some of the children so emaciated 
that they died after eating food. 

The principal drives under this system took place 
from the 30th of April to the 8th of May. The 

l8 7 8 J Suppression of the Rebellion. 129 

number of Xosas killed and wounded was very great, 
but as they managed to slip away and conceal them- 
selves, carrying their wounded and some of their dead 
with them, no correct estimate can be given. Three 
hundred and twenty-eight dead bodies were seen and 
counted in different parts of the field of operations 
during these days, which, without going further, was a 
very heavy loss to the insurgents. Only eleven adult 
male prisoners were taken, for they declined all in- 
vitations to surrender. On the European side the losses 
were considerable also. One military officer, six volun- 
teers, and eight soldiers were killed, and fully double 
that number were wounded. About twenty Fingos were 
either killed outright or died afterwards from wounds. 

The diamond field horse under Colonel "Warren took a 
prominent part in these operations, but on the 14th of 
May it was obliged to leave to return to Griqualand 
"West to aid in suppressing a rebellion of the combined 
Griquas, Koranas, and Batlapin there. 

The greater number of the rebels were now absolutely 
without other food than such wild plants as were to 
be found in the forest, so they were obliged to leave 
the Amatola fastnesses and disperse in small parties 
over the open country. In such a desperate condition, 
hunted night and day, any other people would have 
surrendered at once, but as long as their chiefs were 
not promised pardon and liberty they would not give 
themselves up. Sandile sent twice to the nearest mili- 
tary post to ask for peace, probably hoping that lenient 
terms would be offered to him, as had been the case 
before. But the government was determined to stamp 
out rebellion thoroughly, and so the only answer given 
to the chief was that he must surrender unconditionally. 
This he declined to do, and so hunting the insurgents 
as if they were jackals went on. 

Before the 28th of May one hundred and sixty-nine 
of those who had left the forest were killed and forty- 


130 History of the Cape Colony. L l8 7 8 

five were made prisoners. On that day Tini was cap- 
tured by a patrol of Fingos three miles from Fort 
Beaufort, as he was trying to get into the Waterkloof 
again, where he hoped to be able to conceal himself 
and obtain the means of existence by plunder. He was 
in a miserable condition when discovered and arrested, 
but was able to put on the appearance of a stoic, as 
a Kaffir chief was bound to do. He was not by any 
means the best specimen of a Xosa, still he was not 
without good qualities, and though his conduct must be 
condemned, it should be remembered that it w T as the 
faulty colonial law that gave him the opportunity to 
act as he did. 

On the 29th of May a patrol of Commandant Lonsdale's 
Fingos when scouring a portion of the forest came across 
a party of Gaikas at Isidengi hill. Neither the Fingos 
nor the two white men leading them knew who the 
men they suddenly came upon were, and it was only 
some days later that it was discovered they were no 
other than Sandile and his body-guard. Among them was 
one in European clothing, with a good rifle, which he 
knew how to use most skilfully. Two of the Fingos 
were killed and four were wounded by him, before he 
fell a corpse. He was Dukwana, the son of Ntsikana, 
a man from whose influence much benefit to his country- 
men was expected before his chief went into rebellion, 
when he felt an obligation to turn against the govern- 
ment also. " He was a great man, he was faithful unto 
death," was the judgment of a Gaika upon him long 
afterwards. An Englishman cannot say this, but he can 
surely feel some sympathy with one who could brave 
discomfort of every kind and face death itself in the 
execution of what he believed to be his duty. 

Kifteen other corpses were counted before the patrol 
moved on, but one mortally wounded man was concealed 
by the surviving Gaikas and remained undiscovered. A 
week later a Kaffir, who was made prisoner, gave 

1878] Suppression of the Rebellion. 131 

information that his chief Sandile was dead. After the 
engagement at Isidengi in which he had been shot nothing 
could be done for him, though he lived several days. 
Then he died, and so closely pressed were those with 
him by the parties scouring the forest that they could 
not even bury the body, but had thrown some leaves 
over it as all they could do to protect it: At the time 
of the engagement the chief was trying to make his way 
out of the forest and get to the Thomas river, where 
his sons Matanzima and Edmund, who had gone in 
advance, were in hiding. The prisoner described the place 
where the body was lying so minutely that Captain John 
Landrey, who was sent with a party to ascertain if the 
account was correct, had no difficulty in finding and 
identifying it. This was on the 7th of June. 

Commandant Schermbrucker then with some volunteers 
and soldiers and five hundred Fingos proceeded to the 
spot. The body was examined by Dr. Everitt, who found 
that a snider bullet had passed through the stomach 
and splintered two of the ribs. From the appearance 
of the wounded parts he judged that the chief had 
lived three or four days after being shot, and that 
he had been dead about four days. The left side of 
the face and the right arm had been eaten by some 
wild animal. Commandant Schermbrucker caused a grave 
to be dug, and in presence of the soldiers, volunteers, and 
Fingos, at eleven o'clock in the morning of the 9th of 
June the body of the principal leader in the rebellion 
was laid at rest. 

So perished the last of the direct line of the Karabe 
chiefs, Sandile the son of Sutu, great wife of Gaika, 
great son of Umlawu, great son of Karabe, right hand 
son of Palo, in whose time the Xosas occupied the 
country west of the Kei. Not one of his own people 
saw him laid in the grave, they were all his foemen 
who stood there. That he had brought this miserable 
fate upon himself, and that he had ruined and destroyed 

132 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

his people, may have been his dying thoughts, no one 
can tell. 

That his followers were devoted to him has been 
shown, as also that he had nothing but birth to entitle 
him to their regard. According to our ideas he had not 
even that, for not a drop of the blood of Karabe flowed 
in his veins. ■ According to Bantu ideas he was Gaika's 
great son because he was the son of Gaika's great wife, 
though all men knew that his natural father was not 
Gaika. Born in 1821, he was fifty-seven years of age 
when he died at Isidengi hill. 

At almost the same time as the death of Sandile, 
Siyolo was killed. He was endeavouring to get into the 
Fish river bush with his followers when he met his 
fate. On the 10th of June old Anta, Sandile's half- 
brother and head of an important clan, died. During 
the rebellion he had professed to be loyal to the govern- 
ment, though many of his people took part with the 
insurgents. On the 11th of June Ndimba, finding he 
could hold out no longer, went into Komgha, and 
surrendered to the magistrate there. The only men of 
any note who still held out, or rather who still tried to 
conceal themselves, for they no longer attempted to 
attack or even resist, were the Gunukwebe chief Delima, 
who had no influence whatever beyond his own clan, 
and who surrendered on the 30th of July, and 
Matanzima and Edmund, the sons of Sandile. These 
two were discovered and apprehended on the 1st of 

Nothing now remained to be done except to ferret 
out and apprehend or kill the miserable men who were 
roaming about in a starving condition, without leaders 
or other object than to escape detection and obtain food 
of ;iny kind to support life. It is very easy to talk of 
mercy, but men who were longing to return to their 
homes and ordinary occupations, and who were unable 
to do so while hungry robbers were prowling about, of 

1878] Suppression of the Rebellion. 133 

whose presence the country must be freed before 
agriculture could be resumed or cattle be kept in safety, 
were apt to be forgetful of its dictates. It is*, thus very 
likely that Kaffirs were shot who might have been made 
prisoners if sufficient trouble had been taken, though 
there is no positive proof that this was the case. After 
the loss of their leaders, the rebels became bewildered 
and did not know what to do. They ought to have 
surrendered at once and trusted to the government to 
deal leniently with them, may be said, but in their 
stupefied state they could not make up their minds to 
do this. And so some hundreds were ferreted out and 
shot down as if they were noxious animals, and a few 
were made prisoners. 

The government could not long sanction this, and on 
the 29th of June an amnesty was proclaimed to all who 
would report themselves and give up their arms. The 
intelligence spread rapidly among the famished creatures 
that if they would return to obedience their past mis- 
deeds would be forgiven, and a ray of light dawned on 
them once more. Many of them complied immediately, 
and with their submission the rebellion ended. 

No such insurrection had ever been more thoroughly 
suppressed. It was computed that about eight thousand 
men had been engaged in it — the exact number was of 
course uncertain — and of those more than half had been 
killed outright or had died afterwards of wounds. The 
principal chiefs who had taken part in it were all dead 
or in prison, and of their families and leading adherents 
few remained alive. Their cattle and other property of 
every kind had been lost, so that those of them who 
survived were absolutely destitute. And the object for 
which they had fought, the retention of chieftainship or 
in other words independence of European control, was 
irrecoverably defeated, for the government had decided 
that west of the Kei there should no longer be chiefs 
having power derived from birth alone. 

134 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

On the colonial side sixty Europeans and one hundred 
and thirty-three Fingos had lost their lives, and fully as 
many had been wounded, but recovered. The cost in 
money of the suppression of the rebellion was heavy for 
a colony that needed every penny of its revenue for 
internal improvements : by Act 24 of 1878 the govern- 
ment was empowered by parliament to borrow £750,000 
to cover part of the expense, and the interest on this 
sum was thereafter a charge upon the taxpayers. When 
the accounts were finally made up and audited, it was 
found that in round numbers £1,200,000 had been paid 
out directly by the colonial treasury, besides which the 
excess expenditure of the imperial government from the 
1st of August 1877 to the 31st of July 1878, caused by 
the war and rebellion in South Africa, was £534,910, 
chargeable to the colony. 

It has been mentioned that Dukwana and a few other 
professing Christians took part in the rebellion. But the 
number of those who did so was exceedingly small 
compared with the whole number of converts, the great 
majority of whom remained loyal to the government. They 
requested indeed not to be called upon to fight against 
their erring kinsmen, but this was regarded by the 
authorities as so natural and reasonable that it was 
unhesitatingly complied with. The only members of any 
Karabe clan that actually fought on the colonial side 
were some three hundred of Siwani's men, who on 
account of the old feud with Siyolo were ready to 
avenge themselves on that chief's adherents. The 
Christian Bantu in general conducted themselves in an 
orderly manner, and gave little or no trouble to the 

On the 28th of June Mr. Sprigg, the prime minister, 

gave notice of motion in the house of assembly " that 

thanks of this house be given to his Excellency 

atenailt-Qeaeral the honourable Frederick Augustus 

Theeiger, C.B., Commodore Francis William Sullivan, 

1878] Suppression of the Rebellion. 135 

C.B., C.M.G., and her Majesty's imperial army, navy, 
and royal marines in South Africa, and to Charles 
Duncan Griffith, C.M.G., and her Majesty's colonial 
forces in South Africa, for the eminent services rendered 
by them in quelling the war and rebellion beyond and 
within the frontier of this colony, now happily brought 
to a close by the official announcement of an amnesty." 

On the 1st of July this motion was seconded by Mr. 
J. C. Molteno and was agreed to without opposition, 
and on the 3rd of that month its substance was 
conveyed to Lieutenant-General Thesiger and Commodore 
Sullivan in person by the speaker of the house, and 
was by them suitably responded to. Commandant-General 
Griffith was on the frontier at the time, but the thanks 
of the house were conveyed to him by letter. 

There was now an opportunity of dealing with the 
Bantu in the colony in a more decided manner than at 
any time since 1860. Sir George Grey's plan of weaken- 
ing the influence of the chiefs by giving them pensions 
in return for their surrender of judicial power was 
supposed to be in full operation, but in fact it had long 
ceased to be in force. The chiefs drew their pensions 
regularly, but had managed to recover a great deal of 
their old judicial authority, owing to the small number 
of European officials placed over them, and often to 
those officials being inexperienced or incompetent men. 
There were in 1877 only two classes of crime that such 
chiefs as Sandile, Anta, Oba, Fini, and the others did 
not venture to deal with, which were those to which 
the death penalty was attached and those connected with 
charges of dealing in witchcraft. With the latter class 
they did not deal openly, but certainly did so secretly. 
For instance, if an individual was believed to be guilty 
of causing a death or disaster by witchcraft, his hut 
was burnt down at night and his cattle disappeared, 
by the order, or at least with the sanction, of the 
chief, though no public sentence had been pronounced. 

136 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

In all other cases they acted just as their fathers had 
done before them. They decided in the intricate disputes 
connected with the marriage laws, they punished their 
adherents for assault or theft, and they appropriated to 
their own use any fines that they inflicted. Legally 
they could not do this, and they had no means of 
enforcing their decisions, but they were supported by 
their people, and it would have fared ill with any one 
who disobeyed their orders. Such a person would have 
become an outcast among his own relatives, and would 
have found no one willing to associate with him. For 
they were a conservative people, who clung to their own 
laws and customs, and who derided the principles of an 
English court of justice. That a man on trial should be 
told that he need not say anything to criminate himself, 
that he should not be cross-questioned and made to 
account for all his actions, seemed to them so utterly 
absurd that in speaking of it they were provoked to 
bursts of laughter. Or that every man living in a kraal 
to which a stolen ox was traced should not be held 
accountable for it, though only one of them had driven 
it there, seemed to them like perversion of justice, 
because all must have known, or ought to have known, 
of the theft, and when it was killed all would partake 
of the flesh. Thus there was very little respect for the 
European courts, and a strong national feeling in favour 
of the chiefs, which induced the people to refer their 
disputes to the heads and counsellors of their clans. 

The government now resolved that this must cease in 
the country west of the Kei. Small locations were 
established, and placed under the charge of European 
officials, who were required to keep strict supervision over 
the residents in them, and who might act as arbitrators 
in civil cases, but all criminal cases were to be tried by 
the resident magistrate of the district, or by a judge of 
the supreme court if they were sufficiently serious. In the 
centre of the part of the colony most densely populated 

1878] Suppression of the Rebellion. 137 

by Bantu an official termed the special magistrate of 
Tamacha was retained with greatly increased power, 
whose duties were to preserve order by means of a 
strong force of police and to decide all civil cases, 
including all connected with the marriage customs, 
according to Bantu law. The author of these volumes, 
who filled this office at a critical time, can testify that 
it was anything but a sinecure. 

Galekaland, that is the territory taken from Kreli 
between the Kei and Bashee rivers, from Fingoland and 
Idutywa to the sea, was divided into two districts, 
termed thereafter Willowvale and Kentani. This was 
conquered territory, not yet annexed to the colony, but 
which was regarded and treated as a colonial dependency. 
The " loyal Gaikas," that is, those under the leadership 
of Fini, son of Tyali, Kona, son of Makoma, the old 
counsellor Tyala, and many of those belonging to the 
clan of the recently deceased chief Anta, who had 
separated from their relatives under Sandile when he 
went into rebellion, had ground assigned to them in the 
district of Kentani. Many of them were very reluctant 
to remove, and questioned the justice of the measure. 
Tyala said he preferred to die, and borne down with 
grief for the loss of his chief and his clan, the old man 
actually did die the day before the removal took place. 
Ten acres of arable land were assigned under individual 
tenure to each head of a family, with grazing rights 
over an extensive commonage. This was known to be 
much more than necessary, as the district was one of 
the most fertile in South Africa, but the government 
was desirous of treating these people with the greatest 
liberality.* Four blocks of land, each twenty thousand 

* When the first census was taken in Pondoland it was found that 
there were twelve and a third acres of ground to each individual, but 
much of it was fit only for pasture. In the chief magistracy of 
Tembuland there were seventeen and two-fifths, but the population in 
many parts was scanty. In the chief magistracy of Griqualand East 
where there were large areas almost uninhabited, the average was 

138 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

English acres in extent, were laid out in allotments for 
their use. Those who went first numbered one thousand 
and nineteen men, two thousand two hundred and 
seventy-eight women, and four thousand three hundred 
and sixty-seven children, but there were many of both 
sexes in service with Europeans at the time, and these 
were sent on afterwards as their contracts expired. The 
removal of the first large party was timed so that they 
should reach their destination at the beginning of the 
planting season, and the government provided them with 
the necessary seed. They were required to surrender all 
their arms of every kind before they set out on the 
journey, but were paid the appraised value in money, 
and they were supplied with food and means of trans- 
port for their household effects. Mr. Matthew B. Shaw, 
a son of the reverend William Shaw, the Wesleyan 
missionary who had come to South Africa with the 
British settlers of 1820, was appointed magistrate of the 
district of Kentani, and assumed duty on the 1st of 
October. The only legal power which he could exercise 
was derived from a commission which he held under the 
Act 26 and 27 Victoria, cap. 35, — the amended South 
Africa punishment act, — but in practice he assumed full 
magisterial jurisdiction, which was not questioned by 
any one. 

The whole of the old Gaika location west of the Kei 
thus became vacant. It was divided into farms, which 
were sold on quitrent tenure by public auction to Euro- 
peans, so that the colony gained that tract of land in 
reality by the rebellion. It is included in the district 
of Cathcart. 

Some of those Galekas who were roaming about home- 
less beyond the Bashee now surrendered their arms and 
professed their willingness to come under colonial magis- 
, and were located in the district of Willowvale. 

twenty- nine acres and two-fifths. It would of course be much less 
now in all parts of the territory between the Kei and Natal. 

l8 7 8 ] Annexation of Galekaland. 139 

The people of Mapasa were also located there. Mr. 
F. N. Streatfeild, who had performed good service as a 
commandant of Fingos during the rebellion, was 
appointed magistrate of the district, and assumed duty 
on the 2nd of January 1879. His powers de jure and 
de facto were the same as those of Mr. Shaw. 

Some areas of land in the districts of Kentani and 
Willowvale were reserved for occupation by Europeans, 
but before they could be given out circumstances arose 
which frustrated that plan. The women and children 
sent to the west were returning, and some of them 
found their way over the Kei and swelled the population 
of Kentani. Oba's people were going back to the frontier 
too, and though the farm Aberdeen in the district of 
Victoria East was assigned to the chief and leading 
people of the clan as a residence, in reward of their 
good conduct, it was thought expedient to provide for 
several hundred families by allotting them ground in the 
district of Kentani. Then some of the rebels who 
registered themselves and gave up their arms when the 
amnesty was proclaimed were sent there also. And 
lastly there were the rebels who had been made prison- 
ers — among them Tini, — and who had been sentenced to 
imprisonment with hard labour for two years as punish- 
ment for what they had done, to be considered. There 
was no place so suitable for them as Kentani. 

Galekas too were constantly applying to be allowed to 
settle as loyal subjects in Willowvale. Kreli was in Bom- 
vanaland, where there was no room for many of his 
people, and as the applicants gave up their arms and 
professed to be entirely submissive, they were received 
favourably and ground was assigned to them. So very 
shortly both Willowvale and Kentani contained so large 
a Bantu population that there was no vacant space of 
sufficient extent for a European settlement. 

These two districts, with Idutywa, Butterworth, Nqa- 
makwe, and Tsomo, were formed into a kind of province, 

140 History of the Cape Colony. [1879 

over which in September 1878 Captain Matthew Blyth, 
formerly Eingo agent and recently chief magistrate of 
part of Griqualand East, was placed, with the title of 
chief magistrate of the Transkei. 

The formal annexation of the districts of Kentani and 
Willowvale to the Cape Colony was considered advisable, 
in order that the system of government might be made 
legally uniform throughout the chief magistracy. In the 
session of parliament in 1878 a resolution proposed by 
the secretary for native affairs was agreed to '''that in 
the opinion of this house it is expedient that Galekaland 
should be annexed to this colony, and that the govern- 
ment take such steps as may place it in a position to 
introduce a bill to effect such annexation." 

On the 9th of January 1879 Sir Bartle Frere, in a 
despatch to the secretary of state, forwarded this resolu- 
tion, and on behalf of the colonial ministry requested 
that her Majesty's government would sanction the an- 
nexation. At that time the imperial government was 
anxious to bring about a confederation of the South 
African colonies and states, similar to that of the 
Canadian Dominion. Sir Michael Hicks Beach therefore 
replied that he was disposed to think the present hardly 
a convenient time for taking any steps for determining 
the future position of Galekaland, and that it would 
seem preferable to wait until the general principles of 
confederation could be settled by a conference of colonial 
delegates. On the 19th of May Sir Bartle Frere wrote 
again, strongly recommending that the request of the 
Cape parliament should be complied with, so as to en- 
able legislation to proceed in the coming session. The 
secretary of state answered that he could not do so, as 
1 1' r Majesty's government was very anxious that all 
is connected with the territories adjacent to the 
Cape Colony, and not as yet actually incorporated with 
i*i Bhould be considered in connection with the delimit- 
ation of the provinces of the proposed union. 

1885] Annexation of Galekaland. 141 

The session of 1879 thus passed by without the 
possibility of an annexation act being introduced. The 
correspondence with the secretary of state was, however, 
continued, in despatches too numerous for each to be 
referred to. On the 21st of October 1879 the governor 
forwarded a minute of the ministry, in which 
they stated that they deemed it of the utmost import- 
ance that the country formerly occupied by Kreli and 
the Galekas should be annexed to the colony. At last, on 
the 29th of January 1880, Sir Michael Hicks Beach 
wrote to Sir Bartle Frere that he had advised her 
Majesty to issue letters patent under the great seal 
authorising the colonial parliament to proceed with the 
necessary legislation, and that the letters patent would 
be transmitted as soon as certain assurances were received 
from the colonial- ministry. On the 24th of March he 
wrote that he was satisfied with the assurances which 
had been forwarded, but desired that the regulations for 
the government of the territory should be submitted to 
him before the annexation was completed. On the 3rd 
of May, Earl Kimberley, who on the 28th of April 
1880 had succeeded Sir Michael Hicks Beach as secre- 
tary of state for the colonies, forwarded a telegram to 
Sir Bartle Frere, announcing that the letters patent 
authorising the annexation would be transmitted as soon 
as they had been settled by the law officers. 

Confiding in this announcement, in the session of 
1880, an annexation act was passed by the Cape parlia- 
ment, but now another difficulty arose. The secretary of 
state declined to advise her Majesty to assent to it, 
owing' to some confusion about the regulations and the 
report of a commission then about to be appointed to 
inquire into Bantu laws and customs. A change of ministry 
at the Cape followed, and further delays occurred until 
the act fell through by effluxion of time. 

In the meantime the districts of Kentani and 
Willowvale were practically in a position differing but 

142 History of the Cape Colony. [1885 

little from the remainder of the Transkei. The governor 
of the Cape Colony held a separate commission as 
governor of Galekaland and other territories similarly 
situated, and was guided by the advice of the colonial 
ministry. The administration of those districts was 
carried on through the department of the secretary for 
native affairs, and their revenue and expenditure were 
regulated by the parliament just as if they were legally 
districts of the colony. The judges of the supreme 
court, however, had no jurisdiction there. 

In the session of 1884 the matter of annexation was 
taken up again, and a resolution similar to that of 
1878 was adopted by the house of assembly. This was 
successful, for the necessary permission was obtained 
from England, and in 1885 an act for the purpose 
was passed, which was confirmed by the queen. On 
the 26th of August 1885 a proclamation was issued by 
Governor Sir Hercules Robinson, completing the annexa- 
tion of Kentani and Willowvale to the Cape Colony. 

The population of the six districts constituting the 
chief magistracy of the Transkei consisted at this time 
(1885) of about one hundred and nineteen thousand 
Bantu and eight hundred and twenty Europeans. The 
revenue derived from hut tax was about £12,000 a year, 
and from all other direct sources, chiefly fines, trading 
licences, and stamps, about £4,000. Educational purposes, 
that is grants in aid of mission schools, absorbed over 
thirty per cent of the whole revenue, and more than 
the remainder was expended on public works. Thus the 
Transkei was a burden upon the colonial treasury, 
though some portion of the deficit was made good by 
customs duties on goods sold there, and every year 
the difference between revenue and expenditure was 



In the general arrangements that were made regarding 
the Bantu after the suppression of the rebellion of 1878, 
it was resolved by the government to extend colonial 
jurisdiction over the Emigrant Tembus and the Bomva- 
nas, and to secure greater uniformity in the systems of 
management by uniting under the same chief magistrate 
various districts which had been previously under separate 
heads. With regard to the Emigrant Tembus the for- 
mality of obtaining a request from them to be received 
as British subjects was dispensed with, and the territory 
which they occupied was simply divided into two dis- 
tricts, which were named Southeyville and Xalanga. Mr. 
Charles J. Levey, who had previously borne the title of 
Tembu agent, was thereafter termed magistrate of Southey- 
ville, and in July 1878 Mr. William G. Cumming 
assumed duty as magistrate of Xalanga. 

The honourable William Ayliff, who was then secre- 
tary for native affairs, made a tour through the territory 
for the purpose of explaining the new system to the people 
and obtaining their consent to its introduction. On the 
16th of September 1878 he met the Emigrant Tembu 
chiefs Matanzima, Darala, Gecelo, and Stokwe the son 
of Ndlela at Cofinvaba, and after some discussion obtained 
their consent to the payment of hut tax. He informed 
them that over the ordinary magistrates there would be 
an officer to whom they could appeal whenever they 
thought justice was not done to them by the lower 
courts. The chiefs, according to Bantu custom, thanked 
Mr. Ayliff for the information, and appeared to be satis- 


144 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

fied, but in reality were very far from being so. Their 
part of the country was still only thinly occupied, though 
after their removal to it from the location west of the 
Indwe in 1865 they had been joined by a considerable 
number of Fingos, whom they had invited to occupy 
land there with the object of increasing their importance. 
Gecelo and Stokwe had so far adopted European ideas 
that they had granted farms on individual tenure to 
several of their followers. 

The arrangement indicated by Mr. Ayliff was carried 
out by the union of Emigrant Tembuland and Tem- 
buland Proper under Major Elliot as chief magistrate. 
In December 1878 Major Elliot paid his first visit to 
the territory thus added to that previously under his 
charge. He found the chiefs discontented and half defiant. 
They told him that they had been promised when they 
moved from the old Tambookie location that they would 
be regarded as independent in the country east of the 
Indwe, and now they were being made subject to magis- 
trates, much against their will. Major Elliot replied that 
they had no cause to complain, for they had not carried 
out their agreement with the Cape government, but by 
leaving people in the old location had retained for their 
section of the tribe possession of that ground as well as 
acquiring the land they were then occupying. 

In 1879 hut tax was first paid in the united terri- 
tories of Emigrant Tembuland and Tembuland Proper. 
Before that date the Cape Colony had borne the expense 
of maintaining establishments without deriving any direct 
revenue from the people beyond a trifling amount as 
licences and quitrent from the few European traders and 
farmers in Tembuland Proper. 

The whole territory west of the Umtata river had 
been brought under British dominion with the 
exception of the district termed Bomvanaland, which 
bordered on the seacoast east of the Bashee. The Bom- 
are part of a tribe that was dispersed in the 

1878] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 145 

convulsions of the early years of the nineteenth century. 
Another section of the tribe was called the Amatshezi, 
and resided partly in Pondoland and partly in Tembu- 
land. The Bomvana section, under the chief Gambushe, 
grandfather of Moni, when driven out of Pondoland 
applied to the Galeka chief Kawuta to be received as 
a vassal clan, and was located by him along the Bashee. 
Subsequently they moved deeper into Galekaland, but 
in 1857 they decided not to destroy their cattle and 
grain as Kreli's people were then doing, and therefore 
retreated to the district in which they have since been 

It was with the Bomvanas, then under the chief 
Moni, that Kreli took refuge when driven from his own 
country in 1858. Though they had refused to follow 
the Galekas in the course which led to their dispersion, 
Moni and his people were faithful to them in their 
distress, and gave them all the succour that was in 
their power to bestow. In 1877 the Cape government 
placed a resident with Moni, in the person of Mr. 
William Fynn, who assumed duty on the 30th of June 
of that year. The clan was still, however, considered 
as in a condition of vassalage to the Galeka chief. 

When the war of 1877 commenced, Moni announced 
his intention of remaining neutral. He did not attempt 
to conceal his attachment to Kreli, and stated that he 
would not abandon him in any ordinary peril, but to 
resist the European government was madness. When 
the Galekas retired across the Bashee before Colonel 
Griffith, some of them took refuge with the Pondos, 
but the greater number went no farther than Bomvana- 
land. It became necessary therefore, as the war extended, 
to close this district against the Xosas, and Major 
Elliot was instructed by Sir Bartle Frere to place 
himself in communication with Moni and take such 
further steps as the commander of the forces might 


146 History of the Cape Colony. [1880 

On the 7th of January Major Elliot had an interview 
at Moni's residence with the chief and the principal 
men of the Bomvana clan. Moni himself was at this 
time believed to be over eighty years of age, he was 
blind and too feeble to travel, but his mental faculties 
were perfect. Mr. Arthur Stanford and Mr. William 
Fynn were present at the interview, and acted as inter- 
preters. Major Elliot explained that the Bomvanas were 
too weak to remain independent and neutral in such a 
struggle as that going on, they were unable to prevent 
the Galekas from making, use of their country as a 
place of shelter and base of operations, and therefore 
it was necessary for the Cape government to take mili- 
tary occupation of it and hold it during the war. To 
this no objection was made by the chief, as in the 
nature of things it was not a proposal but an announce- 

A few days later Moni sent his son Langa and his 
principal counsellors to Mr. Fynn with a request that 
he would forward the following message to the governor : 
" I wish to become a British subject. I place my people 
and country under the government, and I now ask the 
governor to send Colonel Eustace to assist my magistrate in 
making arrangements for taking over the Bomvanas." 

Colonel Eustace was accordingly directed to proceed to 
Bomvanaland, and on the 28th of F.ebruary 1878 he and 
Major Elliot reached the chief's residence. A meeting 
was at once held, at which Moni, his sons, counsellors, 
sub-chiefs, and about three hundred of his peopfe were 
p resent. Mr. William Fynn, the resident, acted as inter- 
preter. Colonel Eustace addressed the chiefs and people 
to the effect that he had come at their request, that 
the Cape government had no wish to deprive them of 
their independence, that if they became British subjects 
it would be of their own free will, that they would 
then have to pay hut tax and receive a magistrate, and 
that the chiefs would have to relinquish nearly all their 

Further Annexation of Bantu Territory, 147 

power and influence. They replied that they wished to 
come under the Cape government upon the same con- 
ditions as were agreed to in the case of the Tembus. 
Colonel Eustace then accepted them formally as British 
subjects. After this had been done, Moni said he hoped 
yearly allowances would be granted to himself and 
several other chiefs whom he named. This Colonel 
Eustace promised to recommend. 

Mr. Fynn, the former resident, was thereafter styled 
magistrate, and exercised judicial powers. In December 
1878 Bomvanaland, or as it was now termed the district 
of Elliotdale, was united with the other six districts, 
Emjanyana, Engcobo, Umtata, Mqanduli, Southeyville, 
and Xalanga, to form the chief magistracy of Tembuland. 
In 1880 the Bomvanas first paid hut tax. They had as 
yet hardly been affected, even in outward appearance, by 
European civilisation. Between them and the Tembus 
there had never been a friendly feeling. 

The year 1880 was one of unrest in Tembuland as 
well as in Griqualand East, which was mainly caused 
by the attempt to enforce the disarmament act, and the 
disastrous result in Basutoland, which will be related in 
a future chapter. In the early months the air was full 
of rumours of a combination among the various sections 
of the Bantu to throw off the supremacy of the white 
man. It was impossible for the magistrates to ascertain 
what was taking place, what plans were being concerted, 
or where the explosion would be felt first, but all were 
agreed that there were very grave reasons for uneasiness. 
In October this state of uncertainty was brought to au 
end by the murder of three British officials in the 
district of Qumbu east of the Umtata. This was the 
signal for insurrection in Tembuland, and immediately 
several of the clans rose in arms. 

Without delay Major Elliot issued instructions to all 
the magistrates in the territory to collect the Europeans 
and other obedient inhabitants of their districts, and to 

!^8 History of the Cape Colony. \\%%o 

re either to Queenstown, Dordrecht, or Umtata, 
wl ichever could be reached with greater chance of 
(y. Umtata was the only place he thought of hold- 
In his instructions he pointed out that nothing 
1 cause greater anxiety to the government, or tend 
more to impede military operations than the necessity of 
siding columns for the relief of small detached 
positions of no strategical importance which were not 
provisioned or in any other respect prepared to stand a 
siege. Most of the outlying magistracies were thereupon 
abandoned. Mr. Levey, who believed that he could 
defend Southeyville, remained at his post till a burgher 
force arrived with instructions to rescue him and then 
leave the place to its fate. As soon as this was carried 
out the office and residency were plundered and burnt 
by a party of the insurgents. 

The clans that took up arms against the government 
were the Amakwati under Dalasile, occupying the district 
of Engcobo, and those under Gecelo and Stokwe the 
son of Ndlela in Southeyville and Xalanga. Among these 
there were no Tembus by descent except a few men 
who followed Siqungati, a brother of Gangelizwe. 
Another alien clan which had moved into these districts 
a few years before, under the petty chief Kosana, joined 
the insurgents, though Kosana himself took service with 
the colonial forces. All eyes were now turned towards 
Gangelizwe, for upon him alone it rested whether the 
insurrection should become general or not. He decided, 
as before, to be faithful to the government, and after 
this announcement was strengthened by his action in 
attaching himself to the chief magistrate, not a single 
clan joined the enemies of the Europeans, though the 
sympathy of the whole people was known to be entirely 
with them. 

It thus became a comparatively easy matter to suppress 
the insurrection. The districts occupied by the clans 
that had taken up arms were swept by the colonial 

1882] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 149 

forces, and by February 1881 British authority was 
firmly restored. The insurgents had lost everything, had 
been driven out of the territory, and were thoroughly 

In the session of 1882 the Cape parliament referred to 
a select committee the question of the future occupation 
of the land from which the insurgents had been driven. 
This committee brought up a report recommending that 
the portion of the district of Xalanga that had been 
occupied by the chief Gecelo should be allotted to 
European farmers ; that the consent of the imperial 
government should be obtained for the issue of titles, in 
case annexation to the colony should be delayed; that 
the remaining lands in Xalanga and Southeyville should 
be granted to Bantu irrespective of their tribal relation- 
ships ; that as the district of Engcobo, in which 
Dalasile's clan had resided, belonged to the Tembu tribe, 
it should not be allotted to any people without the 
approval of the paramount chief Gangelizwe, but that 
steps should be taken to obtain his consent to its 
occupation by European farmers ; and that a commission 
should be appointed without delay to deal with the 
matter on these lines. The house of assembly hereupon 
expressed its opinion in favour of the appointment of 
such a commission, and the governor carried the resolu- 
tion into effect. 

The commission consisted of Messrs. J. Hemming, civil 
commissioner and resident magistrate of Queenstown, 
J. J. Irvine and J. L. Bradfield, members of the house of 
assembly, and C. J. Bekker, justice of the peace for the 
division of Wodehouse, appointed on the 17th of August, 
and Messrs. J. J. Janse van Rensburg and J. Joubert, 
members of the house of assembly, appointed on the 
22nd of September 1882. 

In the meantime some Europeans from the border 
districts of the Cape Colony went in without leave and 
took possession of portions of the vacant territory, but 

150 History of the Cape Colony. [1884 

subsequently they made no objection to pay the govern- 
ment for grazing licences. The conflicting claims ad- 
vanced by these people and their friends, by missionary 
societies, by traders, by chiefs and people, friendly, 
neutral, and lately hostile, made the task of the com- 
mission an extremely difficult one. Gangelizwe was the 
least troublesome of all to deal with. He made a formal 
cession of the northern part of the district of Engcobo, 
and sent four of his counsellors to point out the 
boundary between it and the part which he reserved for 
his own people. In Xalanga and Southeyville a line was 
laid down between parts intended for settlement by 
Europeans and by Bantu, against which Messrs. Bekker, 
Van Bensburg, and Joubert protested as giving an undue 
proportion to the latter, but it was maintained, and the 
country below it was filled up with Bantu of different 
tribes, in the manner recommended by the parliamentary 

The land assigned for occupation by Europeans ex- 
tended along the base of the Drakensberg adjoining the 
district of Wodehouse. Its whole extent, including the 
Slang river settlement, which dated from 1867, was only 
seven hundred and twelve square miles, or one thousand 
eight hundred and forty-three square kilometres, and 
from this must be deducted thirty-eight square miles 
occupied as a Bantu location in Maxongo's Hoek. 

The late insurgents were located chiefly in a magis- 
terial district called Cala, formed of parts of the former 
districts of Southeyville and Xalanga. Mr. C. Levey was 
stationed there as magistrate. The remainder of the 
district of Southeyville, or the portion occupied by the 
under Matanzima and Darala, was formed into a 
separate district, called Saint Mark's, and in May 1881 
Mr. Jt. W. Stanford assumed duty there as magistrate. 
The three districts — Xalanga occupied by Europeans and 
Cala and Saint Mark's occupied by Bantu — were in 
September L884 again formed into two, by the partition 

1885] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 151 

of Cala between Xalanga and Saint Mark's. Mr. Levey 
thereupon became magistrate of Xalanga. In May 1884 
Mr. E. W. Stanford was succeeded at Saint Mark's by 
Mr. T. K. Merriman, who remained when the district 
was enlarged. 

In 1882 part of an abandoned tract of land along the 
Umtata, on which European farmers had been located 
by Gangelizwe before the cession of the country, was 
purchased from that chief by the government, for the 
purpose of providing commonage for a town which was 
becoming a place of importance. The site was selected 
by Mr. Probart in January 1876, near the western bank 
of the river of the same name, at a height of six. 
hundred and seventy metres, or two thousand two hundred 
feet above the level of the sea. Across the river Pondo- 
land stretches away, and to the northwest the Matiwane 
mountains, clad with forests, rise full in view. In 1885 
Umtata contained about a hundred and fifty buildings, 
among which were the court house and public offices, 
an English cathedral, another English church, a Eoman 
catholic mission church, a Wesleyan church, a high 
school, a theatre, and several large stores. It was the 
residence of the chief magistrate of Tembuland, and was 
the most important military station east of the Kei. 
Exclusive of the colonial military forces, it had then a 
European population of five hundred souls. 

The seven districts forming the chief magistracy of 
Tembuland were not formally annexed to the Cape 
Colony until 1885. They were governed in exactly the 
same manner as the districts of Kentani and Willowvale 
in the Transkei, and precisely the same course was 
followed by the Cape parliament concerning them. When 
by the governor's proclamation of the 26th of August 
1885 they were incorporated in the Cape Colony, the 
principal difference in their position that was effected 
was that the judges of the circuit and supreme courts 
thereafter tried important cases instead of a combined 

152 History of the Cape Colony. [1880 

court of magistrates with the chief magistrate as 
president. Bantu law continued to be carried out in all 
civil cases where only Bantu were concerned, the chiefs 
were allowed to try civil and petty criminal cases, but 
there was a right of appeal from their decisions to the 
magistrates, no spirituous liquor could be sold by any 
one to a black man or woman under penalty of a fine of 
£50 and disqualification to trade thereafter in the 
territory, and no right of representation in the Cape 
parliament was given. 

The population of the chief magistracy of Tembuland 
in 1885 consisted of about eight thousand five hundred 
Europeans and one hundred and fourteen thousand Bantu. 
The revenue had been very far short of the expenditure, 
but every year the deficiency was becoming less. One 
fourth of the whole revenue was expended for educational 
purposes, as the government was cooperating with the 
numerous mission societies in a supreme effort to elevate 
the people. 

On the 30th of December 1884 the chief Gangelizwe 
died. His son by his great wife — the daughter of Kreli 
— Dalindyebo by name, was then only eighteen years of 
age. He had been educated, though not to a very high 
standard, in mission schools. In June 1884 Darala died. 
His great son being a child, a regent was appointed to 
act during his minority. The authority of the colonial 
government was therefore more readily acknowledged. 
Dalasile, chief of the Amakwati, still possessed much 
influence, but he was powerless for harm. He lived ten 
years longer, and died on the 18th of May 1895. 

The chief magistracy of Transkei was affected to some 
extent by the insurrection in Tembuland and Griqualand 
Kast in 1880, though none of the inhabitants joined the 
rebels. The Galekas and Gaikas were without arms, and 
«i 00 much recently that they were anxious only 
for tranquillity. In 1879 the Fingos and the people of 
itywa had been required to surrender their guns and 

1880] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 153 

assagais, and had done so, though with great reluctance. 
They could not understand why the government should 
disarm them, as they had fought and bled on the colonial 
side, and they became for a time sullen and discontented, 
many of them caring little whether they received the pro- 
mised compensation or not. At that time the only military 
force in the chief magistracy consisted of three men of 
the Cape mounted rifles stationed at Ibeka. The in- 
surgent clans in Tembuland were aware of the discontent 
of the Fingos, whose assistance they hoped to obtain, 
but these people realised that rebellion, even if successful, 
would be followed by their destruction, and the Christian 
section set an example of obedience, which was imitated by 
the others, so that Captain Blyth's call for volunteers to 
enrol under European officers for the defence of the 
territory was generally responded to. 

On the 10th of November 1880 a hostile band made 
a raid into the Fingo districts and i killed Captain 
Blakeway and about thirty of the Fingos under his 
command. On the 14th of November another raid was 
made, when Captain Von Linsingen, who had done 
excellent service in 1878 in assisting to suppress the 
rebellion of the Rarabes, his son, and three other Euro- 
peans were killed. Shortly after this the colonial forces 
arrived at the scene of disturbance, and prevented a 
repetition of these attacks. A large force of Fingos was 
subsequently employed in assisting the government against 
the hostile clans, and in that duty performed good service. 

Though the districts of Tsomo, Nqamakwe, Butterworth, 
and Idutywa were annexed to the colony, colonial law was 
not carried out in them as it was on the western side 
of the Kei. Under the conditions of annexation the 
governor in council was empowered to draw up regulations 
which should have the force of law. These regulations 
were to be published in the Gazette, and in the session 
following their publication be laid before parliament, 
which retained the power of repealing or altering them. 

154 History of the Cape Colony. L l88 ° 

No acts of the Cape parliament were to be in force 
unless proclaimed so by the governor, or expressly 
extended to the annexed districts in the acts themselves. 
The code published in 1879 was the whole body of 
colonial law then in existence, except when in conflict 
with a number of regulations issued at the same time. 
One of these regulations was that where all parties to a 
civil suit were Bantu, the case could be dealt with 
according to Bantu law, that is the recognised custom 
of each tribe, which is not always identical with that of 
its neighbours. This clause covered all cases relating to 
marriage and inheritance, so that polygamy was not 
interfered with, nor any attempt (which must have been 
abortive) made to destroy the bonds which hold Bantu 
society together. 

The jurisdiction of the magistrates was unlimited in civil 
cases, but the loser had the right of appeal to the chief 
magistrate, or, after 1882, to the eastern districts court 
or the supreme court, as he might choose. In criminal 
cases the magistrates had large powers, but their 
decisions were subject to review by the chief magistrate, 
and after 1882 appeals could be made to the judges of 
the supreme court exactly as in the European districts 
of the colony. Persons charged with the commission 
of crimes to which by the colonial laws the penalty of 
death was attached were tried before 1882 by a court 
consisting of the chief magistrate and two of the 
sub-magistrates, after that date by the judges of the 
circuit court. 

After February 1882 the Fingos voluntarily paid an 
annual tax of two shillings and six pence each man for 
local purposes. The fund thus created was administered 
by a committee of headmen and magistrates, who met 
once every three months at the office of the chief 
magistrate. There were also sub-committees which met 
monthly at each magistracy. The proceeds of this tax 
amounted to about i!800 annually, and the government 

Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 155 

contributed from the general revenue a sum equal to that 
voluntarily raised. The fund was devoted to the main- 
tenance of a hospital at Butterworth which received 
patients from all parts of the Transkei, the construction 
and repair of roads, and such other public works as the 
committee might determine. This is a striking proof of 
the advancement in civilisation which was being made 
by the Fingos under Captain Blyth's guidance. After 1884 
the inhabitants of each of the districts Idutywa, Kentani, 
and Willowvale contributed £50 yearly towards the main- 
tenance of the hospital. 

It was in the chief magistracy of Griqualand East 
that the insurrection of 1880 began, and where its effects 
were most widespread. Clans who had come under the 
white man's control at their own urgent and often-repeated 
request when threatened with destruction by their enemies, 
as soon as the peril was over demurred to any restraint 
such as the laws of a civilised government imposed upon 
them, and particularly resented the call upon them to 
give up their arms. 

In April 1880 the chief magistrate began to observe 
that matters were becoming very unsatisfactory. Out- 
wardly all was calm as ever, and the chiefs and people 
were loud in expressions of loyalty and declarations of 
satisfaction. But Mr. Brownlee was too experienced in 
the ways of the Bantu to trust to indications of this kind, 
and when he ascertained that Basuto messengers were 
stealthily passing to and fro and that the chiefs were in 
close correspondence with each other, he knew that a 
storm was gathering. 

There was a small force of Cape mounted riflemen in 
the territory, but early in September it was sent to 
Basutoland. After this the reports received by Mr. 
Brownlee became more alarming, and he determined to 
visit Matatiele, where the greatest . danger of disturbance 
was to be apprehended. On the 11th of September he held 
a meeting with the Basuto in that magistracy, and received 

156 History of the Cape Colony. [1880 

their repeated assurances that no matter what their tribe 
beyond the mountains might do they would ever be found 
loyal to the colonial government. 

The chief magistrate returned to Kokstad, and there 
received intelligence of the engagement of the 13th of 
September between Lerothodi and the Cape mounted 
rifles at Mafeteng and that nearly the whole Basuto 
tribe had risen in rebellion against the Cape Colony. 
Taking with him Mr. Donald Strachan and Mr. George 
Hawthorn, that gentleman's successor as magistrate of 
Umzimkulu, with an escort of twenty-five men of the 
Abalondolosi, Mr. Brownlee left again for Matatiele. He 
reached the residency on the 30th of September, and found 
the Basuto, who less than three weeks before had been 
talking so loyally, now arming and singing war songs in 
all the locations. He endeavoured to pacify them, but 
in vain. Mr. Liefeldt, the magistrate, enrolled a hundred 
Hlubis and Basuto, whom he believed to be trustworthy, 
for the defence of the residency, but it was soon 
ascertained that no dependence could be placed upon 
the Basuto. Forty of them deserted during the night of 
the 2nd of October, and joined the insurgents. 

On the night of the 3rd of October it was resolved 
to abandon the residency, as it was not possible to hold 
it, and to remain longer would expose the little party 
to certain death. Next morning Messrs. Brownlee, 
Strachan, Hawthorn, and Liefeldt effected their escape, 
and a little later in the day the place was surrounded 
by insurgents, through whom the Hlubis were compelled 
to cut their way with a loss of eleven men. By this time 
the whole district of Matatiele was in revolt, the trading 
stations were being plundered and the mission stations 
destroyed. The Europeans, after being despoiled of every- 
thing, were permitted to retire to Kokstad. 

As soon as intelligence of the Basuto insurrection 
reached Maclear, the magistrate, Mr. J. R Thomson, 
enrolled the Fingos and a few colonial blacks who in 

i88o] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 157 

1872 had been located in that district, and made the 
best preparations that he could for the defence of his 
post. His position was one of great peril, for it was 
anticipated that the insurgents of Matatiele would be 
joined by their kinsmen in his district. 

It was then that Hamilton Hope, magistrate of 
Qumbu, resolved to aid in the defence of Maclear and 
at the same time secure the Pondomsis under Unihlo- 
nhlo on the European side, or perish in the attempt. He 
had always been on friendly terms with Umhlonhlo, and 
had treated him with extreme consideration. The chief 
professed to be attached to the magistrate, and asserted 
his readiness to act in any way Mr. Hope might direct. 
To outward appearance there was no reason to suspect 
him of treacherous intentions. But Mr. Hope knew the 
character of the people he had to deal with, and he 
had received abundant warning of the danger he was 
about to incur. At that time he could easily have 
escaped to Umtata. But like a brave man and a faith- 
ful servant of the government, as he was, he determined 
to risk his life in the effort to get Umhlonhlo to com- 
mit himself by taking part against the enemies of the 
Europeans, and thus confine the insurrection within 
narrow limits. 

He arranged with Umhlonhlo to meet him with five 
hundred men at a camp on the road to Maclear, to 
which place he would bring all the men he could 
collect about the residency and such arms and ammuni- 
tion as could be obtained. His clerk, Mr. Davis, and 
two young officers on the establishment of the chief 
magistrate of Tembuland, who happened to be there, by 
name Henman and Warrene, accompanied him. Mr. 
Hope suggested to these gentlemen that they had better 
not go, as it was sufficient for him alone to incur the 
risk, but they preferred proceeding to remaining behind 
and thereby betraying to Umhlonhlo and his people that 
they were not implicitly trusted. 

158 History of the Cape Colony, [1880 

On the 23rd of October all was ready for the advance. 
There had been as yet no show of enmity on one side 
or of want of confidence on the other. Umhlonhlo's 
men ranged themselves in a semicircle for a war dance 
preparatory to marching, and the Europeans stood by 
the waggons as spectators. As the dance went on, little 
groups of warriors rushed out from the main body, 
flourishing their assagais and pretending to stab oppo- 
nents. Of a sudden one of these groups dashed forward 
and struck down Messrs. Hope, Henman, and Warrene. 
Mr. Davis was spared, owing to his being the son of 
an old missionary with the Pondomsis and a brother of 
a missionary then with the tribe. Three or four hun- 
dred Snider rifles and twenty-seven thousand rounds of 
ammunition fell into Umhlonhlo's hands by this act of 
treachery, which was a signal for a rising of the clans 
on both sides of the Umtata. The magistrate's horse 
and gun were given to Koqa and Umbeni, two Pondo 
messengers who were present at the massacre, and they 
were directed by Umhlonhlo to take them as a present 
to Ndabankulu, a brother of the Pondo chief Umqikela, 
with an intimation of what had been done. 

Immediately after the murder of the officials Umhlo- 
nhlo joined the rebel Basuto. Mr. Thomson, with forty 
European volunteers from Dordrecht and one hundred 
and twenty Batlokua under Lehana, had in the mean- 
time left Maclear, and was advancing to meet Mr. Hope, 
when intelligence of the murder reached him. He had 
only time to take shelter in a trading station when he 
was surrounded by the enemy. Here, though attacked 
repeatedly, he managed to beat his assailants off and 
hold the post until the arrival of a column of friendly 
Hlangwenis from Umzimkulu, under Mr. Hawthorn. Mr. 
Thomson then made a stand at the Maclear residency, 
where for a month he was cut off from all communica- 
tion by a host of Basuto, Pondomsi, and Tembu rebels, 
but when reduced to the last extremity for food and 

i88o] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 159 

ammunition he was rescued by a party of volunteers 
from Dordrecht. 

The murder by Umhlonhlo's people took place close to 
a station of which the reverend Stephen Adonis, a 
coloured missionary, was in charge. Fearing that he 
also might be put to death he sprang upon a horse 
with only a riem in the mouth, and made all haste to 
Tsolo. Having informed Mr. Welsh, the magistrate there, 
of what had occurred, he sped on to Umtata, which 
post he reached that same night, and gave warning to 
Major Elliot, chief magistrate of Tembuland. 

There was only one building at Tsolo capable of 
being defended, and that was the prison. Its walls were 
of stone, and it was roofed with iron, but it was very 
small. Mr, Welsh hastily loopholed it, and then the 
Europeans, men, women, and children, and the black 
police took shelter within it. They were not a moment 
too soon, for Umditshwa's people had already risen, and 
were even then plundering and burning the trading 
stations in the district. Next morning at dawn two 
traders, who had escaped with only their lives, joined 
them, and then there were shut up in that little build- 
ing thirty Europeans, of whom only eleven were men, 
and five black policemen. They had no more than two 
hundred rounds of ammunition and a very scanty supply 
of food. The Pondomsis, mad with war excitement, 
plundered and destroyed the residency and other build- 
ings before their eyes. Every moment they feared would 
be their last, though they were resolved to sell their lives 
dearly. Umditshwa offered, if they would leave the 
prison, to send them under escort to Umtata, but 
wretched as they were they declined to trust themselves 
in his hands. 

Their only hope was in relief from Umtata. But 
Major Elliot was in almost desperate straits, for many 
of the clans in the territory under his charge had also 
risen, his sub-magistracies were abandoned, he was him- 


160 History of the Cape Colony. [1880 

self in lager, and until Gangelizwe came in he had 
every reason to believe that all Tembuland, with the 
exception of Elliotdale, was in rebellion. It was eight 
days before help of any kind could be sent. At last 
on Sunday the 31st of October, when they were almost 
sunk in despair, a column was seen approaching Tsolo. 
It was a party of Nquiliso's Pondos, led by the reverend 
James Morris, and accompanied by six European 
volunteers from Umtata. Braver men than these seven 
white colonists no country need wish to have. They 
went with their lives in their hands, for there was no 
guarantee that Nquiliso's people would not act as 
Umhlonhlo's had done, and it was certain that at the 
best these Pondos were not more than lukewarm in 
rendering assistance. When the relief column reached 
Tsolo, some of the rescued Europeans, from hunger, 
anxiety, and the horrible discomforts of such close con- 
finement, were found to be delirious. All, however, were 
saved, and reached Umtata without further suffering. 

Thus the insurrection had spread over the four districts 
of Matatiele, Maclear, Qumbu, and Tsolo. All the 
Basuto, except a very few of Lebenya's followers whose 
conduct was doubtful, all the Pondomsis, and about 
three hundred of the Batlokua, under Ledingwana, 
nephew of Lehana, rose in arms against the Europeans. 
Even some of the Hlubis, to save themselves from de- 
struction, professed to be with the insurgents. On the 
side of the colonial government there were a score or 
two of destitute white traders whose stations had been 
destroyed, as many colonial blacks of slave descent, and 
a lew hundred Fingos and Batlokua under Lehana. To 
the remaining districts, Kokstad, Umzimkulu, and Mount 
Frere, the rebellion did not spread, with the exception 
that one small clan left Kokstad and joined the insur- 
ants in the field. 

Intelligence of the simultaneous rising of so many clans, 
of the massacre by Umhlonhlo's people, of the murder 

1880] Further Annexation of Banttt Territory. 161 

of several traders, of the pillage and destruction of 
public buildings, trading establishments, and mission 
stations, burst upon the colonial government and people 
like a sudden thunderclap. The difficulties encountered 
in Basutoland, constantly increasing in magnitude, had 
previously engrossed public attention. The regular military 
forces of the colony had all been sent to meet the bands 
of Lerothodi and Masupha. The government therefore 
called out a large number of burghers, and as fast as 
they could be raised volunteers and coloured levies were 
sent to the front. 

Mr. Brownlee on his side speedily had a strong force 
in the field. There were a good many European farmers 
who had purchased ground from the Griquas in the 
districts of Kokstad and Umzimkulu, there were traders 
scattered over all the districts, and in the village of 
Kokstad there were a few mechanics. From these 
sources a small body of volunteers was raised. The 
Griquas furnished another corps. The Bacas of Nom- 
tsheketshe and Makaula supplied contingents. Sidoyi, 
chief of a large clan of the Hlangwenis, who had fled 
into the territory from Natal twenty-three years before, 
gave great assistance. Another large body that took the 
field on the European side was composed of Bantu from 
Umzimkulu. These people consisted principally of little 
groups of refugees who had lost their hereditary chiefs, 
and who had settled in Umzimkulu under Mr. Donald 
Strachan's protection when he was one of Adam Kok's 
magistrates. Since that time they had regarded him as 
their head, and were devoted to him personally. Mr. 
Strachan had resigned the appointment of magistrate of 
Umzimkulu, but at Mr. Brownlee's request he now accepted 
the position of commandant-general of the auxiliary Bantu 
forces, and was followed to the field by quite a for- 
midable though undisciplined army, perfectly obedient to 
their leader, and ready to face any danger with him at 
their head. 


1 62 History of the Cape Colony. L l88 3 

The insurgents were thus attacked on both sides, and 
heavy losses were inflicted upon them. The Basuto made 
a very poor resistance, and soon abandoned Griqualand East 
altogether and made their way over the Drakensberg to 
the country occupied by the main section of their tribe 
then in rebellion. Umhlonhlo's people took their cattle 
into Eastern Pondoland, where, owing to Umqikela's 
friendship, they were kept safely, and were restored when 
the country was again at peace. The clan was dispersed, 
but efforts made to capture the chief failed until 1903.* 
Umditshwa's people took their cattle into Nquiliso's country, 
but when the insurrection was quelled the Pondos refused 
to restore them. They thus lost everything. 

On the 14th of January 1881 Umditshwa, with two of 
his sons of minor rank and six of his counsellors, 
surrendered. They were sent to King-Williamstown, where 
in the following September they were put upon their trial 
before the circuit court, when, being found guilty of 
rebellion, the chief was sentenced to three years' im- 
prisonment, and his sons and counsellors to two years' 
hard labour. With the surrender of Umditshwa the 
insurrection in Griqualand East came to an end, as the 
colonial forces were then in full possession of the territory, 
and after that date no resistance was offered there. 

The people who had risen in arms now began to give 
themselves up. As fast as they surrendered they were 
disarmed and temporarily located, pending the decision of 
the colonial authorities as to their final settlement. 

* He made a desperate resistance when he was discovered, but was 
secured and sent to King-Williamstown to stand his trial for the 
murder of Messrs. Hope, Warrene, and Henman. Being tried by the 
colonial law, which would not permit of his being examined personally 
against his will, and as it could not be proved that he had either 
struck a blow himself or given order to any one else to do so, he was 
acquitted by the jury. In the dock he excited admiration by his 
dignified bearing and stoicism, though almost any Bantu (chief would 
have done the same. While a fugitive he had adopted the Koman 
catholic faith. 

1883] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 163 

During the years 1881, 1882, and 1883, they continued 
to come in from Pondoland and other districts to which 
they had fled, but most of the Basuto who had rebelled 
were not permitted to return to Griqualand East. 

In June 1883 a commission, consisting of Messrs. C. 
Brownlee, D. Strachan, and C. P. Watermeyer, was 
appointed for the purpose of settling the country that 
had been occupied by the insurgents. The plan of the 
government was that a reserve of twenty to twenty-five 
thousand morgen in extent should be laid out for occupation 
by Europeans around the seats of magistracy of Qumbu 
and Tsolo, the remainder of those districts being allotted 
to Bantu. All who had not taken part in the insurrec- 
tion in Maclear and Matatiele were to be invited to 
remove to Qumbu or Tsolo, but if they should not 
choose to do so they were to have locations secured to 
them where they were. The remainder of the country 
was to be laid out in farms and sold to Europeans. 

The commission was engaged for some months in 
defining locations and settling in them the various appli- 
cations for land. A large part of the district of Qumbu 
was given to Fingos, comprising a clan under Ludidi, who 
moved from Matatiele, a clan under Umtongwane, son of 
Ludidi, who came from Mount Frere, a clan under Nelani, 
who came also from Mount Frere, surplus population from 
the Izeli valley in the division of King-Williamstown, 
and a clan under the headman Maqubo. The Pondomsis 
had an extensive location assigned to them, in which 
they were placed under the headman Umzansi, a brother 
of Umhlonhlo. Another tract of land was allotted to a 
body of Basuto under Sofonia Moshesh. People of 
different tribes mixed together were placed in locations 
under Jonas and Umtonintshe. The Wesleyan mission 
station Shawbury had a large block of land assigned to 
its dependents. And around the seat of magistracy some 
twenty thousand morgen, the remainder of the district, 
were reserved for the use of Europeans. This plan could 

164 History of the Cape Colony. [ l88 3 

not be carried out, however, as originally intended, 
because white people were not attracted to a locality of 
such limited extent, where they would be surrounded 
by Bantu, and shortly it was found necessary to provide 
for so many more blacks than appeared at first that 
the project of settlement of the reserves in this and 
the neighbouring district had to be abandoned. 

The district of Tsolo, with the exception of a reserve 
of some twenty-three thousand morgen about the seat of 
magistracy, was likewise entirely parcelled out among 
Bantu. Here also the Fingos received large allotments. 
A number of these people moved in from the district of 
Maclear, and to those from the Izeli a section was assigned, 
bordering on their ground in Qumbu. The late rebel 
Pondomsis, over whom Mabasa, uncle of Umditshwa, was 
placed as headman, received a large location. Ground 
was assigned to the Tolas under Bikwe, a clan w T hich 
migrated from Pondoland in 1882. Four other locations 
under as many headmen were given to people of various 
clans, among whom were a. good many Pondomsis. The 
mission of the church of England was provided with 
ground on which to reestablish its destroyed station of 
Saint Augustine. And several deserving blacks received 
farms from five hundred to a thousand acres in extent 
as quitrent grants. 

The district of Maclear was in 1882 divided into two 
magisterial districts, named Maclear and Mount Fletcher. 
Bantu were left by the commission almost entirely in 
possession of the latter. In it was the old location of 
the Hlubis under Zibi, left intact, the location of the 
Batlokua under Lehana, of which it was intended to 
allot a portion to Europeans, but the design was never 
carried out, and as much of Lebenya's old location as 
was needed by those of his people who professed to 
have been faithful to the colonial government. 

In the district of Maclear there was a large location 
of Fingos. mixed with people of various clans, and several 

1878] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 165 

farms occupied by coloured people, but the greater 
portion of the land was retained for occupation by 
Europeans. A number of quitrent farms were surveyed 
there and sold by public auction even before the appoint- 
ment of the commission. 

In the district of Matatiele about one-fourth of the 
land was laid out in locations for Bantu. These locations 
were assigned to Basuto under George Moshesh, Tsita 
Moshesh, and three other headmen, some of them recent 
refugees from Basutoland, others individuals who at first 
aided the insurgents, but subsequently joined the colonial 
forces when they appeared in strength ; Baputi under 
Masakala, who had also been hostile and friendly by 
turns ; Fingos under several headmen ; and a section of 
the Hlangweni clan under Umzongwana, son of the late 
chief Sidoyi. The remainder of this district was reserved 
for occupation by European farmers. 

The removal of the Fingos from the district of Mount 
Frere made room for the Bacas under Nomtsheketshe 
to move in from the Kode (pronounced Kho-day) valley 
in Pondoland. This did away with one of the elements 
of confusion on the southern border. The Bacas and 
Pondos in the Bode were continually quarrelling, and 
there was such strong sympathy between the former 
and their kinsmen under Makaula that there was an 
ever-present danger of these being drawn into conflicts 
which might terminate in a general war. Nomtsheketshe 
was by descent of higher rank than Makaula, but his 
following was much smaller. 

The area of the five districts, Maclear, Mount Fletcher, 
Matatiele, Qumbu, and Tsolo, is about five thousand eight 
hundred square miles or fifteen thousand and thirty-four 
square kilometres. The settlement effected gave four 
thousand two hundred square miles, or ten thousand 
eight hundred and eighty-seven square kilometres to Bantu, 
and left one thousand six hundred square miles or four 
thousand one hundred and forty-seven square kilometres 

1 66 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

for occupation by Europeans. Some of this, however, 
was afterwards given to Bantu as a matter of necessity, 
so that the gain was small as far as colonisation by 
white men was concerned. 

In addition to the eight districts of Maclear, Mount 
Fletcher, Qumbu, Tsolo, Matatiele, Kokstad, Umzimkulu, 
and Mount Frere, the chief magistracy of Griqualand 
East covered a tract of land about two hundred and 
forty square miles or six hundred and twenty-two square 
kilometres in extent, termed the district of Mount Ayliff, 
which was united to it in 1878. This district was on 
the southern side of the line laid down by Faku, and 
was consequently part of Pondoland until the Xesibes 
who lived in it were received as British subjects. It 
was situated between the Rode and the head waters of 
the Umtamvuna river, and had the district of Kokstad 
on the north and the county of Alfred in Natal on the 
east. Its southern boundary was not defined when the 
clan was taken over, but was understood to be where 
Xesibe kraals ended and Pondo kraals began. 

It became British territory through the resistance of 
Umqikela, the paramount Pondo chief, to certain de- 
mands made upon him by the colonial government. 
There were stipulations as to the surrender of criminals, 
the freedom of roads, the prevention of illicit trade, and 
the reference of disputes with neighbouring tribes to the 
mediation of the Cape authorities, contained in the third, 
seventh, eighth, and tenth clauses of the Maitland treaty 
of 1844, which the chief practically refused to carry out. 
In consequence of this, measures were taken to extend 
the authority of the colony. Messrs. Blyth and Elliot 
were commissioned to settle the Pondo difficulty, and by 
them the chiefs of the border clans were invited to 
transfer their allegiance to the British government, 
which several of them were very ready to do. 

The first who responded to this invitation was the 
Xesibe chief Jojo, whose clan numbered about four 

1878] Flirt her Annexation of Bantu Territory. 167 

thousand two hundred souls. He had frequently requested 
British protection against the Pondos, between whom 
and his people there was a long and bitter feud. The 
commission of 1872 had made the Xesibes tributary to 
the Pondos, upon condition that the territory which 
they occupied should be left to them intact and that the 
Pondos should deal with them fairly. They complained 
that these terms had not been observed, and the colonial 
government then interfered, basing its right to do so upon 
the thirteenth clause of the Maitland treaty of 1844. 
Umqikela asserted that Jojo refused to recognise his 
paramoimtcy, which compelled him to treat the Xesibes 
as rebels. Sir Henry Barkly then required Jojo to re- 
cognise Umqikela's authority in a formal manner, and in 
November 1874 Mr. Donald Strachan accompanied the 
Xesibe messengers to the Pondo chief and was a witness 
of their payment to him of eight oxen and two horses 
as a token of their dependence. Umqikela expressed 
himself satisfied, and promised to treat the Xesibes as 
his vassals in a just and liberal manner; but the ill- 
feeling between the two tribes was too deeply seated to 
be so easily eradicated, and Mr. Strachan had hardly 
reached his home when the plundering and retaliation 
commenced again. From that time there was no inter- 
mission of these disorders, while fresh appeals for British 
protection were made by the Xesibes on every suitable 
opportunity. On the 8th of July 1878 Jojo and his 
people were accepted as subjects on the usual terms by 
Messrs. Blyth and Elliot. 

The next to respond was a Hlubi named William 
Nota, who occupied part of the Kode valley, a narrow 
wedge of land on the Pondo side of the line, between 
the districts occupied by Makaula's Bacas and Jojo's 
Xesibes. Nota was a recent immigrant, and had been 
appointed by Umqikela headman over a party of Hlubis 
who occupied the Eode conjointly with some Bacas 
under the chief Nomtsheketshe and spme straggling 

1 68 History of the Cape Colony. [ l88 3 

Xesibes. He had no complaint against the Pondos, but 
had a vague desire to become a government man, like 
the rest of the Hlubis. On the 22nd of July 1878 he 
was accepted as a subject by the commissioners, but 
their act was not confirmed by the government, and 
Nota was obliged to make his peace again with 
Umqikela, which did not occasion much difficulty. 

Following Nota came Siyoyo, chief of the Amacwera, 
a clan claiming to be a remote o£f-shoot of the 
Pondomsi tribe. He was a vassal of the Pondos with, 
as a matter of course, a feud with his next neighbour, 
the Pondo clan under Valelo. Siyoyo had applied in 
1877 for protection, by which he meant assistance in his 
quarrel. He now repeated his desire to become a British 
subject, and on the 5th of August was accepted by the 
commissioners. As in Nota's case, however, the govern- 
ment declined its ratification, and Siyoyo was obliged to 
renew his allegiance to Umqikela by formal submission 
and payment of tribute. 

Shortly after this the honourable William Ayliff, who 
was then secretary for native affairs, visited the country. 
On the 28th of October 1878 he held a meeting with 
the Xesibes under Jojo, when he announced that the 
government had confirmed the act of the commissioners 
in receiving them as subjects. Mr. Walter H. Kead was 
at the same time stationed with them as magistrate. 

This procedure of the colonial government was felt as 
a grievance by the Pondos. The feud between the two 
tribes was deepened by it, and disturbances became even 
more frequent than before. In 1879 the Pondo chiefs on 
the border invaded the district and devastated a large 
portion of it, burning and destroying the kraals as they 
advanced. They were only checked by the arrival of 
a force of two thousand five hundred men, which was 
hastily raised in the district of Umzimkulu, and sent 
under Mr. Donald Strachan to protect the Xesibes. 
Umqikela then disowned the acts of the border chiefs, 

1 886] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 169 

and promised to make good the damage done, but failed 
to do so when Mr. Strachan's army was disbanded. 

During the insurrection of 1880 the Xesibes were an 
element of trouble, for as soon as the colonial forces 
were withdrawn from the district the Pondos endeavoured 
to worry them into open war. Instead of giving help in 
the field, they were clamouring for assistance themselves. 
So onerous was their protection to the government that 
at one time it was in contemplation to remove them 
altogether, and give them land in one of the other 
districts, but this plan of settling the question was frus- 
trated by their refusal to migrate. 

The encroachments of the Pondos at length compelled 
the colonial government to lay down a line between the 
tribes, and in April ]883 a commission consisting of 
Messrs. C. Brownlee, D. Strachan, C. P. Watermeyer, 
and the reverend J. Oxley Oxland, was appointed for that 
purpose. Umqikela was invited to cooperate with the 
commission by 'sending representatives to assist in denning 
a boundary, but he declined to do so. His view of the 
question was tersely summed up in a single sentence in 
a letter written in his name to the commissioners by 
his principal adviser and secretary Umhlangaso, who 
had been educated at a mission institution : " the para- 
mount chief refuses to recognise the right of the Cape 
government to make a boundary in Pondoland between 
himself and rebel subjects and will rigidly adhere to 
the boundary as denned by the commission appointed 
by Sir Henry Barkly in 1872." 

The commission was therefore obliged to lay down a 
line without any assistance. In doing so, it gave to 
the Pondos all places of doubtful ownership and even 
several kraals from which Xesibes had recently been 
expelled but which were then occupied by Pondos. 

The government for several years maintained a much 
larger military force in Mount Ayliff than in any other 
district between the Kei and Natal. Detachments of 

170 History of the Cape Colony. [1885 

both cavalry and infantry were stationed at the seat of 
magistracy and also at a post named Fort Donald, 
besides which a strong force of black police was for 
some time kept up. But the Xesibes were dissatisfied 
at not receiving still greater protection, though they were 
such a heavy burden to the Cape Colony. They com- 
plained that when they stole from the Pondos the magis- 
trate punished them and compelled them to restore the 
booty, but that when the Pondos stole from them the 
government did not see that they got redress, and 
Umqikela took no notice of representations made through 
the European officials. They wanted, in short, that in 
return for calling themselves British subjects and paying 
a tax of ten shillings a year on each hut the govern- 
ment should either line their border with troops and 
police, or give them military aid whenever they could 
make up a plausible case for retaliating on a Pondo 

The district of Mount Ayliff was not formally annexed 
to the Cape Colony until 1886. An act for the purpose 
was passed by the parliament in that year, and after 
its approval by the queen, was proclaimed in force by 
the governor on the 25th of October. Previous to that 
time the supreme court exercised no jurisdiction in the 
district, and all cases, criminal as well as civil, were 
tried by the magistrate according to Bantu law. In the 
same year the B,ode valley, in extent about thirty 
square miles or seventy-eight square kilometres, was pur- 
chased from Umqikela and added to the district, but 
was not formally annexed to the colony until 1888. 

An act passed in 1882 gave the eastern districts court 
concurrent jurisdiction with the supreme court over the 
annexed portions of the territories. Persons charged 
with crimes punishable by death were thereafter sent 
for trial to the nearest town where a session of the 
circuit court was held. The magistrates had jurisdiction 
aU other criminal cases, but their sentences were 

l88 5] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 171 

subject to review by the chief magistrate. Civil cases 
to any amount were tried in the magistrates' courts, 
but there was an appeal to either the chief magistrate, 
the eastern districts court, or the supreme court, as the 
suitors might elect. In criminal cases an appeal could 
also be made. 

Kokstad, the residence of the chief magistrate of 
Griqualand East, soon grew to be a town of consider- 
able commercial importance. It is situated in a broad 
valley on the bank of the Umzimhlava, a tributary of 
the Umzimvubu. About three miles or nearly five kilo- 
metres from the town rises Mount Currie to the height 
of two thousand three hundred and sixteen metres, or 
seven thousand six hundred English feet above ocean 
level, a grand object in the landscape. In 1885 Kokstad 
contained several churches, a first-class public school, 
a bank, and a good many places of business and 
dwelling houses. The purchase by Europeans from 
Griquas of a considerable number of farms in the 
district had tended greatly to promote the prosperity 
of the town. 

The population of Griqualand East in 1885 consisted 
of about three thousand Europeans, ninety thousand 
Bantu, and three thousand five hundred Griquas and 
colonial blacks. As in the other territories, the expendi- 
ture during the first few years after its being brought 
under colonial rule was considerably greater than the 
revenue, but was now every year becoming more nearly 
equal. About £23,000 was paid in direct taxes in 1885. 

The whole territory abandoned by Sir Philip Wodehouse 
under instructions from the imperial authorities, together 
with a good many districts that had been occupied by 
Bantu for several generations, had thus come under the 
government of the Cape Colony. The three great blocks 
of land termed chief magistracies — Transkei with six 
magisterial districts, Tembuland with seven, and Griqua- 
land East with nine — could more properly be termed 

172 History of the Cape Colony. [1885 

dependencies of the colony than parts of it. They were 
not represented in parliament, their civil laws — except 
when Europeans were concerned — were not those of the 
people living west of the Kei, there was no possibility 
now of settling white men in them in sufficient numbers 
to raise their Bantu occupants speedily to a state of 
civilisation. That opportunity had been lost for ever. Of 
what value were they, then, or why were they brought 
under colonial rule ? 

The answer is that they were taken over from sheer 
necessity. There could be no security in the colony while 
tribes of barbarians were almost constantly at war with 
each other just beyond a fordable river border, and while 
many thousands of the same race were living in the 
colony itself. There was no other way of keeping order 
among them. The danger to be apprehended from ex- 
tending British authority over them, without taking the 
cost in money into consideration, was great, but the 
danger from leaving them to themselves was greater. 
Prevented from destroying each other in war and on 
charges of dealing in witchcraft, they would increase at 
an amazing rate, under European rule their old tribal feuds 
would be forgotten, so that one section could not be 
used to keep another in submission ; but it might be 
hoped that as new generations came into existence they 
would learn to appreciate more and more the benefits of 
peace and righteous government, and would be content 
to live as obedient subjects. And so they were taken 
over, and the most strenuous efforts that were possible 
with so small a European element were put forth to 
lead them onward in civilisation and prosperity. 



By those well acquainted with the Xosa, Tembu, and 
Pondo tribes, and therefore competent to express an 
opinion, the last named has always been considered the 
most backward of the three. Perhaps the condition of 
extreme distress to which the Pondos were reduced in 
the time of Tshaka — when they had nothing but kilts of 
reeds and leaves for clothing and were long subject to 
famine — may have had something to do with this, or it 
may have been owing to their having had much less 
intercourse with Europeans, for the three tribes were one 
in origin, and that at no very distant date. There was 
a legend known to some of the old men among the 
Pondos in the early years of the nineteenth century that 
both the Tembus and the Xosas had branched off from 
their stem, and this is quite within the bounds of 
possibility, though it is by no means certain. 

The traditions of any tribe cannot be relied upon as 
accurate for events that occurred more than a century 
and a half before, when those of three or four tribes 
can be compared the time may be extended to two centuries, 
but beyond that all is vague except such a statement as 
a migration from a far-off northern home, which is common 
to every clan south of the Zambesi, and is supported in 
most of the tribes by the custom still observed of burying 
the dead in a sitting position with the face towards the 
north, — or, as in the case of the Batlapin, the north- 
east, — looking towards the ancestral home. Even in such 
a matter as the line of descent of great chiefs, much 


174 History of the Cape Colony. [t&l* 

the most important subject in the opinion of a Bantu 
antiquary, it is necessary to use great caution. Take, for 
instance, the line of descent of Moshesh. Fifty years ago 
the Basuto antiquaries did not pretend to be able to 
trace it beyond his great-grandfather, to-day they connect 
him wifh the family of Monaheng. It was necessary in 
the opinion of some one to make his name great, and 
so a fictitious pedigree was composed, which soon became 
accepted as correct. The same thing may have occurred 
in many tribes, so that tradition unsupported by other 
evidence is almost useless for historical purposes. 

The most that can be said of the three tribes is that 
almost to a certainty they were not in existence in the 
middle of the sixteenth century, and that the Abambo 
were not then in Natal. Some years later there was a 
perfect whirlwind of barbarous war in the north, when 
tribes disappeared and great areas were laid waste just 
as when the Mantati horde swept, bare the country along 
the northern bank of the Vaal. Then, at the close of 
the sixteenth century the Abambo are found in Natal, 
and a little later the Pondos, the Tembus, and the Xosas 
are in existence farther south. But whether the three tribes 
in advance were actually part of the murderous horde 
that came down from beyond the Zambesi, destroying 
everything in its way, exterminating all human beings 
within its reach except young girls and boys that it 
incorporated, or whether they were fugitives trying to 
escape from the terrible Abambo, it is impossible now to 
say. Only this is certain, that each of these tribes was 
composed of fragments of many others that became welded 
together into one in so short a time that their former 
chiefs, with a single exception, must have perished. Born 
in the same terrible convulsion, of the same stock, with like 
careers, there was no radical difference between them, 
nothing that could make the Tembus and the Xosas 
superior to the Pondos, except such circumstances as 
have been indicated above. The Pondos have a smaller 

1878] Fzirt her Annexation of Bantu Territory. 175 

quantity of Hottentot blood in their veins, but that 
cannot cause much difference. 

The Pondo was now the only independent tribe below 
the Drakensberg range south of the Tugela. By the 
word independent, however, it is not implied that the 
tribe constituted an absolutely sovereign state such as 
France or Germany, for in the nature of things a petty 
barbarous government could not be permitted to do 
whatever it pleased, even within the limits of its own 
territory, in opposition to the interests of a powerful 
civilised neighbour. It was not a compact body, as not 
only was it divided into two sections, but each contained 
many vassal clans that could not be kept in perfect 
submission. The reception of the Xesibe clan and the 
incorporation of Mount Ayliff, that they occupied, with 
the chief magistracy of Griqualand East has already 
been related. 

In the same year, 1878, another fragment of Pondoland 
was added to the domain of the Cape Colony. This was 
at the mouth of the Umzimvubu river, the Sao Christo- 
vao of the Portuguese, where a harbour for shipping not 
of the largest class is found in the tidal estuary, after 
the bar at the entrance has been crossed. This estuary 
had received the name Port St. John's, which was not 
inappropriate, as near it the galleon Sao Joao was 
wrecked in 1552, the terrible sufferings of whose pas- 
sengers and crew form one of the most tragic narratives 
in South African history. 

The control of Port St. John's was . considered a 
matter of importance by the colonial government. 
Through it, if in unfriendly hands, goods could be con- 
veyed to the interior without payment of customs duties, 
firearms and ammunition might be supplied to all the 
warriors in Kaffraria. The river divides Pondoland into 
two nearly equal portions, and the Pondos alone could 
lay claim to the ground about its mouth. In 1844 the 
chief Faku entered into a treaty with Sir Peregrine 

176 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

Maitland, in the eighth clause of which he agreed " that 
he would not suffer the masters or mariners of any ships 
or vessels to land merchandise or to traffic with his 
people in any part of his country, unless such vessels 
should be furnished with a licence from the colonial 
government authorising them to land goods there." The 
treaty was a farce, as all similar agreements with petty 
barbarous rulers at the same time proved to be, and it 
was the only one of them all that had not been can- 
celled by Sir Harry Smith. By accident rather than by 
design this had not been done, and the document still 
remained in existence, practically to be enforced or not, 
according to what necessity — that is the interests of the 
whole community as understood by the civilised white 
man's government — demanded. 

Even during the lifetime of Faku the clause of the 
treaty concerning commerce was not strictly observed. 
No foreign shipmaster attempted to enter the river, but 
a coasting trade was opened up by merchants in Natal, 
who made use of Port St. John's without remonstrance 
from the government of the Cape Colony. On the 29th 
of October 1867 Faku died, leaving Umqikela, his great 
son, paramount chief of the Pondos, and Ndamasi, his 
son of the right hand, chief of the clans west of 
the Umzimvubu. Practically Ndamasi was almost inde- 
pendent. It was indeed asserted by some of his 
adherents that Faku had made him actually independent by 
promising that the umsila * should never be sent across 
to the western side of the river. It was satisfactorily 
proved that no umsila was sent from the great chief's 
residence to any clan under Ndamasi's government for 
many years before Faku's death. On the other hand, it 
was maintained that this was only a personal privilege 

* The umsila is the messenger who carries out sentences of 
the chief. The word means a tail, and the messenger is so called 
because he carries as a symbol of his authority the skin of the tail 
of a lion or leopard — in some tribes of an ox — stretched over a 
long wand, 

1878] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 177 

given by Faku to his favourite son, and that it was 
not intended to indicate a division of the Pondo tribe. 
This was the view of the case taken by impartial men 
in the neighbouring tribes, and the balance of Pondo 
evidence was greatly in its favour. At any rate the 
paramountcy of Umqikela meant very little more to 
Ndamasi than an admission that the son of the great 
house was higher in rank than his elder brother. 

The Pondo tribe had incorporated so many alien clans 
that its division into two, or even into a dozen sections 
independent of each other, would not cause much diffi- 
culty. When Faku died, Ndamasi was an old man, 
with the reputation of being an intelligent chief, 
and Umqikela was only thirty-two years of age, a 
drunkard, and without any capacity as a ruler. Under 
these circumstances, Sir Philip Wodehouse, who wished 
to secure the mouth of the Umzimvubu for the Cape 
Colony, applied personally to Ndamasi for it when he 
visited the country in 1869, but met with a distinct refusal. 
In 1874 there were some negotiations with regard to a 
cession of the port, and the Cape government was then 
willing to make a considerable compensation for it, but 
nothing came of the matter. 

On the 29th of August 1876 Ndamasi died. He was 
succeeded by his son Nquiliso, who was of about the same 
age as Umqikela. Nquiliso followed his father's policy 
in claiming independence of the great house in everything 
except an admission of its superior rank. Owing to his 
position, he was more disposed to be friendly to the Cape 
Colony than was Umqikela, who asserted his rights as 
paramount chief of the Pondo tribe in language such 
as James II of England might have used, and with as 
little inclination as that monarch to adapt his conduct 
to the necessities of his time. 

In 1878 the colonial government considered it impera- 
tive to obtain a footing at Port St. John's. Umqikela, 
the chief of a tribe composed largely of alien clans ready 


178 History of the Cape Colony. [1878 

at any moment to transfer their allegiance to some one 
else, with his authority actually ignored by a very large 
section of the tribe that claimed independence under 
another branch of the ruling house, could not be per- 
mitted to stand in the way of the adoption of a policy 
which would affect all South Africa. It cannot fairly 
be made a charge of injustice against the colonial govern- 
ment that it did not support the pretensions of an un- 
friendly, incompetent, and drunken chief to an authority 
which he was altogether unable to enforce. 

On the 17th of July 1878 an agreement was made with 
Nquiliso by Major Elliot, in which that chief ceded to 
the government of the Cape Colony all the sovereign 
rights which he then possessed or was entitled to claim 
over the waters and navigation of the Umzimvubu, as 
also of a piece of land on which to erect a custom 
house and other necessary buildings, such land to be paid 
for at a fair valuation. He further agreed to roads 
being made and maintained through the country on 
his side of the river from the port to the main 
waggon road from the Cape Colony to Natal. On the 
other part Nquiliso was acknowledged as independent 
of Umqikela, from whose attacks he was promised pro- 
tection as long as he maintained friendly relations with 
the government of the Cape of Good Hope. This agree- 
ment was ratified by the high commissioner, and on the 
30th of September the secretary for native affairs in 
person concluded it by paying to Nquiliso d£l,000 for a 
narrow slip of land on the western side of the river, 
about ten thousand acres in extent, from the sea upwards 
about nine miles or fourteen kilometres and a half. 

Under instruction from the high commissioner, on the 
1st of August Lieutenant-General Thesiger left Table 
Bay with Commodore Sullivan in the Active, taking with 
bim a company of the first battalion of the twenty-fourth 
regiment and ten men of the royal engineers, with a 
quantity of stores, and proceeded to Port Natal. There 

1878] Ftirther Annexation of Bantu Territory. 179 

a steam tug of forty-five tons burden, named the Somtseu, 
was engaged and sent to Port St. John's, and on the 
27th of August the Active followed and anchored off the 
mouth of the river. On the 30th the troops and stores 
were taken across the bar in the Somtseu, and conveyed 
up the estuary to White's landing-place below the lower 
ford. On the 31st General Thesiger landed, hoisted the 
English flag, and proclaimed the eastern bank of the 
river British territory from the lower ford to the sea. 
He was accompanied by Major Crealock, Captain Har- 
rison, Assistant Commissary General Pennell, Lieutenant 
Cameron of the royal engineers, Lieutenant Davis of 
the royal navy, and the reverend J. Oxley Oxland, 
British resident in Eastern Pondoland. Some seamen 
also were landed to witness with the troops the cere- 
mony of hoisting and saluting the flag. Major Elliot and 
five of Nquiliso's counsellors were witnesses of the 
proceedings, though at a distance, for they were stationed 
on the western bank - of the river opposite the place 
where the ceremony was performed. 

A site was then sought for a fort. General Thesiger 
selected a spot on the western bank close to the ford, 
which he named Davis' drift. It was about two miles 
or a little more than three kilometres above the strip 
of land which Nquiliso had sold, and his counsellors who 
were present declared that they had no power to cede 
it. Major Elliot thereupon proceeded to Nquiliso's 
residence, but found the chief averse to disposing of the 
site selected for the fort, as he stated he had promised 
the place to those of his subjects who would lose their 
gardens in the land already sold. He had no objection, 
however, to its being occupied temporarily by the troops. 
General Thesiger left there the company of the twenty- 
fourth under Captain Harrison and the royal engineers 
under Lieutenant Cameron, and they remained until 
August 1879, when they were relieved by a company of 
the ninety-ninth regiment. The fort was named by 

180 History of the Cape Colony. t l88 4 

General Thesiger Fort Harrison. It was abandoned and 
dismantled in 1882, when the Cape infantry then form- 
ing the garrison were moved down to the mouth of the 

At the time of hoisting the flag, the highland on the 
western side of the mouth was named Mount Thesiger, 
and that on the eastern side Mount Sullivan, but 
these names are seldom used, the common designation 
being the Gates of Saint John. They present to the 
eye a scene of impressive grandeur. 

On the 4th of September 1878 the high commissioner 
Sir Bartle Frere issued a proclamation in which he 
charged Umqikela with knowingly harbouring criminals 
who had committed murder in British territory and re- 
fusing to deliver them for trial, sheltering an insurgent 
Griqua leader for a time and then sending him home 
with an escort that assisted the rebels, and general un- 
friendly and hostile conduct ; he declined the offer of 
Umqikela to pay a fine of a thousand head of cattle ; he 
declared that Umqikela would no longer be recognised as 
paramount chief of the Pondos, but that subordinate chiefs 
would be allowed to deal directly with the British 
government ; he declared further that Umqikela would 
not be permitted to exercise any control or authority 
over the navigation of the Umzimvubu, that the 
sovereignty over the port and tidal estuary of that 
river should be vested thenceforth in her Majesty's 
government, and that officers would be appointed on 
behalf of that government to control its navigation and 
to levy any customs or port dues which it might be 
necessary to impose. In a notice of the same date it 
was announced that the customs duties would be the 
eame as those of the Cape Colony. Mr. Harry Mills 
Edye was then appointed acting resident magistrate and sub- 
collector of customs, and Mr. Bangay harbour master. 

The imperial government ratified these measures. In a 
despatch, dated the 13th of February 1879 Sir Michael Hicks 

1884] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 181 

Beach conveyed to Sir Bartle Frere " the approval of 
her Majesty's government to the establishment of British 
sovereignty over the port and tidal estuary of St. John's, 
and of the manner in which that measure has been 
carried out." 

The right to levy customs duties was disputed by 
two Natal firms, White Brothers and Wood &, Co., 
who had long been doing business with the Pondos, on 
the ground that the port was not annexed to the Cape 
Colony, and in July 1881 they landed by force the 
cargo of a cutter and had it conveyed to undisputed 
Pondo territory. But this contention was nullified by 
Sir Hercules Bobinson, who on the 2nd of August 1881 
issued a proclamation in his capacity as governor of St. 
John's Kiver Territory, imposing the duties. 

On the 10th of October 1881 letters patent were 
issued under the great seal of the United Kingdom, em- 
powering the governor to issue a proclamation annexing 
Port St. John's to the Cape Colony as soon as an act 
for that purpose should be passed by the Cape parlia- 
ment. Just before the close of the session of 1884 such 
an act was brought forward by the ministry. It was 
read in the house of assembly for the first time on the 
16th of July, read the second time and considered in 
committee on the 17th, and read for the third time on 
the 18th. In the legislative council it passed through 
all its stages on the 18th of July. On the 15th of 
September 1884 the governor issued a proclamation 
completing the annexation, since which date Port St. 
John's has been part of the Cape Colony and subject 
to all its laws. 

The population of the annexed territory in September 
1884 consisted of three hundred and eight souls, namely 
one hundred and ten officers and men of the Cape 
infantry, ninety-two European officials and traders with 
their families, and one hundred and six Bantu servants. 
No ground had then been disposed of to private in- 

1 82 History of the Cape Colony. [1884 

dividuals, but several substantial buildings had been 
erected at different places. The trade had been very 
small. Most of the goods imported were brought from 
Natal in small coasting steamers, that took back hides, 
horns, and maize obtained from the Pondos. The 
customs duties collected were in 1879 £499, in 1880 
£1,745, in 1881 £1,593, in 1882 £2,251, in 1883 £2,120, 
and in 1884 £1,963. Captain E. J. Whindus was 
appointed resident magistrate, port captain, and shipping- 
master in September 1884, and a customs house officer 
was also stationed there. 

At this time Umqikela was provoking the colonial 
government to take action against him, and jurisdiction 
would have been extended over the whole of Eastern 
Pondoland if the imperial authorities had not objected to 
the occupation of that territory.* The chief, who was 
excessively vain, though without much ability, was in 
the hands of very bad advisers, foremost among whom 
was his half-brother Umhlangaso, who had received some 
education in mission schools, which he was turning to 
the worst account. Filled with conceit as a son of Faku, 
this man was instilling into Umqikela's mind that he 
was an absolute sovereign and could do whatever he 
chose in his own dominions without the white man 
having any right to interfere. 

The great waggon road from Umtata to Natal ran 
generally on the Griqualand side of the boundary, but 
in two places it passed through projecting points of 
Pondoland. One of these places was close to the Umtata 
river, in Nquiliso's territory, the other was the Rode, 
where for about ten miles or sixteen kilometres the road 
was beyond the Griqualand line. The only right that 
Umqikela had to the Rode was that derived from the 
treaty of 1844, and even up to 1881 no Pondos lived 

* On the 3rd of January 1878 Lord Carnarvon wrote to Sir Bartle 
Frere that her Majesty's government was not prepared to approve of 
the extension of jurisdiction of the Cape Colony over the Pondos. 

1884] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 183 

there. Previous to that date it was occupied by Bacas 
and Hlubis. For forty years, or ever since the Maitland 
treaty, the road had been kept in order by the colonial 
government or by individual white colonists, without any 
interference Irom the Pondo chiefs. But in May 1884 
some labourers who were employed by the Cape govern- 
ment to repair it were interfered with by Umqikela's 
orders, and a letter was written in his name to the 
chief magistrate of Griqualand East, in which he stated 
that he would not allow any repairs to be made on a 
road in his country unless his consent was first asked 
for and obtaired. 

A few weeks later information was forwarded to Cape- 
town that Umqikela was about to prohibit all commerce 
between the Cipe Colony and Pondoland, and that the 
traders in his country were in a state of alarm. This 
information was confirmed by a letter from Umhlangaso to 
the chief magistrate of Griqualand East, dated on the 9th 
of August, in vhich he notified that after the 15th of 
October Umqikela would not allow the passage of armed 
troops of the colonial government through any part of 
his country — thai is, along the great waggon-road, — and 
in which he enclosed a proclamation by Umqikela announc- 
ing that after tlB 15th of October a tax of £50 would 
be levied upon every vehicle conveying merchandise 
entering or leaving Pondoland from or for the Cape 
Colony or Port St John's, that on similar vehicles from 
Natal a tax varyiig from 10s. to 50s. would be charged, 
and that heavy tols would be levied on the main road. 
Almost simultaneously with this, intelligence was re- 
ceived that the advisers of Umqikela were persuading 
him to try and pky off Natal against the Cape Colony, 
and this too was shortly confirmed by advices from 
the Natal governmeit to the high commissioner, in which 
a letter from Umhangaso, dated on the 11th of August, 
was forwarded. In this letter Umhlangaso referred to 
the fact that there was no arrangement for the extra- 

184 History of the Cape Colony. [1884 

dition of criminals, and proposed a treaty with Natal, as 
the Pondos were very desirous to remain on friendly 
terms with that colony. 

Cattle lifting by the Pondos from the Bacas and the 
Xesibes was being carried on at this time on a large 
scale, and in a few instances these people had retaliated. 

Mr. (afterwards Sir Jacobus) de Wet, who on the 13th 
of May 1884 became secretary for native affairs, then 
paid a visit to the country. By his directions the 
military posts on the border were strengthened, and 
patrols were ordered out, with strict injunctions, however, 
under no circumstances to cross the boundary into 
Pondoland. The Bacas and Xesibes were prohibited not 
alone from stealing cattle from Pondos, but even from 
following the spoor of their own cattle, when stolen, 
across the Pondo line. Captain O'Connor was sent with 
a letter to Umqikela, explaining the object of strengthen- 
ing the posts, and expressing a strong desire that the 
chief would prevent stockstealing from his side, and come 
to a friendly arrangement concerning other matters. 

Captain O'Connor was received in a friendly manner 
by Umqikela, who promised to issue orders against thiev- 
ing. On the 11th of October a letter was written by 
Umhlangaso to the chief magistrate of Griqualand East, 
stating that Captain O'Connor's commmication was the 
first one of a friendly nature that bad been received 
from any representative of the colonial government since 
1878, that the chief would gladly cooperate in any 
measure having for its object the peace of the country, 
and would send strict commands to tie border chiefs to 
prevent stealing. In reply, Mr. De Wet caused Umqikela 
to be informed that he had received iwith great satis- 
faction the assurances conveyed in his message, that the 
government was most anxious to a:rive at a proper 
understanding upon all matters causing difficulties between 
them, that the Xesibes were armed, but would only be 

: mitted to act in self-defence, and »hat the sole object 

i 88 5] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 185 

of stationing troops on the border was to provide an 
efficient police. 

The prospect of a friendly settlement lasted only a few 
days. On the 25th of October a Pondo army crossed 
the border in the absence of the colonial forces, and 
attacked the Xesibes, but was repulsed without much 
harm being done on either side. On the following day 
the attack was renewed, when the Pondos were beaten 
back with heavy loss, very little damage being sustained 
by the Xesibes. The cause assigned by the Pondos for 
these raids was that one of their people, named Tamana, 
had been murdered by the Xesibes on his own ground, 
and his cattle had been swept off by the murderers. But 
it was afterwards ascertained that the murder had not 
been committed by the persons so charged, and that the 
cattle had been driven in another direction. 

Mr. W. »E. Stanford and Captain O'Connor were then 
sent to try to arrange matters with Umqikela. They 
were to endeavour to obtain from him an acknowledg- 
ment of the colonial ownership of Port St. John's, of 
the right to construct and . maintain roads from that 
port inland, a recognition of the boundary line between 
the Xesibes and the Pondos, and, what was regarded as 
more important than any of these,* a pledge that no 
ship not provided with a colonial certificate should be 
allowed to land goods or carry on trade on the Pondo 
coast. They were to ascertain what compensation he 
would require in return for these concessions, and whether 
he would like to enter into a formal treaty concerning 

They found Umqikela expressing a desire for peace 
and friendship, talking, in fact, in the most praiseworthy 
way, but unwilling to do anything except talk. They 
ascertained that pecuniary compensation would not be 
received for anything. The Pondos would not renounce their 
claim to Port St. John's, and they wanted the Xesibes 
removed and the ground occupied by those people given 

1 86 History of the Cape Colony. [1885 

to them, a most unreasonable wish, seeing that the 
Xesibes were as much entitled as the Pondos themselves 
to ground somewhere below the old Griqualand East 

While this attitude was assumed by Umqikela, or 
perhaps more correctly by his advisers, the condition of 
Pondoland was one of utter anarchy. The orders of the 
great chief were everywhere disregarded, drunkenness was 
rife, and several of the clans were at open war with 
each other. In a battle between the sub-chiefs Siyoyo 
and Valelo, the latter was assisted by a large force under 
one of Nquiliso's brothers, and the former was aided by 
some of Umqikela's immediate followers. 

Umqikela at this time attempted to open a new har- 
bour where entries should be free of the control of 
either of the colonial governments. If this could be 
carried out, all efforts on the part of the Cape authorities 
to prevent munitions of war and spirituous liquors from 
being supplied to the Bantu in the different territories 
would be futile, and it was therefore necessary for the 
colonial government to take some action in its own 
defence. On the 5th of January 1885 the high com- 
missioner, acting under instructions from the secretary of 
state for the colonies, proclaimed her Majesty's protec- 
torate over the whole coast of Pondoland. 

As regards the toll on the main road, some waggons 
passing through the Rode were detained and the owner 
was obliged to pay under protest before they were released. 
The matter was then referred to the secretary for native 
affairs, who informed Umqikela that he was wilfully 
disturbing the relationship which had previously existed 
between him and the colonial government, and that by 
treaty obligations and otherwise he was precluded from 
establishing tolls upon a road made and kept in a fairly 
good state of repair, and used so long by her Majesty's 
subjects. The act, however, was not resisted by 

l8 ^5] Further Annexation of B antic Territory. 187 

On the 2nd of March 1885 a small vessel named the 
Sir Evelyn Wood arrived at Port Grosvenor, as Umqi- 
kela's proposed landing-place was termed. The Pondo 
counsellors Umhlangaso and McNicholas, with a large 
number of people were waiting on the beach to see the 
first cargo landed. On board the vessel was Captain 
Turner, the owner of the cargo, who went on shore, 
and announced that he had obtained from Umqikela a 
monopoly of importing goods through Port Grosvenor. 
He was met by a man named Rethman, who made 
exactly the same claim, and produced documents to show 
that he had obtained the right from Umqikela and had 
said for it. There could not have been a better indica- 
tion of the confusion that would have arisen from the 
opening of a port on the coast free of all control except 
that of an ignorant chief. Umhlangaso and McNicholas 
— a white man then in the chief's favour — could not settle 
the dispute between Turner and Rethman, so Turner 
returned on board the vessel and left Port Grosvenor 
without attempting to land the cargo. 

In June 1885 there was a serious disturbance be- 
tween the Pondos and the Bacas. Three horses were 
stolen from the Tshungwana mission station, and the 
spoor was traced into Pondoland. The horses were 
found at the kraal of Umbali, a Pondomsi, but a sub- 
chief of Umqikela. Umbali stated that he had taken 
them from the thieves, but this declaration was not re- 
garded as trustworthy. 'On the night of the 19th, the 
day on which the horses were recovered, eighty-eight 
sheep were stolen from the station. When this was 
discovered on the morning of the 20th, the Bacas raised 
the war cry and followed on the spoor, which led into 
Pondoland. On the border one of the sheep was found 
stabbed to death, a circumstance which with Bantu 
means a challenge to fight. The Bacas pushed on and 
found a Pondo army drawn up to oppose them. Just 
at this time one of the stolen sheep made its escape 

1 88 History of the Cape Colony. [1885 

and ran towards its accustomed pasture. At sight of 
this the Bacas charged, and a battle ensued, in which 
the Pondos lost nine men and the Bacas had three 
killed and three wounded. The Pondos were beaten, and 
two of their kraals were burnt by the victors. 

As this battle took place on Pondo ground, Umqikela 
asserted that the Bacas were the aggressors, and asked 
for a commission of inquiry. The government acceded 
to his request, and Messrs. J. T. Wylde and W. G. 
Cumming were appointed commissioners. They met the 
Pondos sent by Umqikela to represent him, and on the 
29th and 31st of August an investigation took place. 
The Pondo commissioners were dumbfounded by the 
evidence of one of their own witnesses, Umbali the 
border chief. In trying to clear himself of the charges 
made by the Bacas, he asserted that the thefts com- 
plained of had not been committed by his people but 
by Pondos living farther from the line, who had driven 
the stolen cattle through his kraal. It was clearly 
proved that while no efforts were made by the Pondos 
to suppress cattle lifting, there were no cases in which 
theft from Pondos by Bacas had not been redressed. 
With this issue of the investigation, it might be sup- 
posed that Umqikela would have done something to 
prevent similar cases in future, but nothing of the kind 

Early in October the chief magistrate of Griqualand 
East reported that numerous stock thefts were being 
committed by the Pondos from the Xesibes, and that 
there were several instances of Pondos crossing the line 
and making gardens on Xesibe ground. Umqikela had 
sent him a letter informing him that he would take no 
steps to prevent thefts from the Xesibes. 

At this time a deputation from the Pondo tribe 
ted Capetown, with the object of trying to obtain 
from the high commissioner redress for what they re- 
garded as grievances. The deputation consisted of Mr. 

l88 5] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 189 

Donald Strachan and three other Europeans, with 
Umhlangaso and five other Pondos. On the 27th of 
October they had an interview with the high com- 
missioner in presence of two members of the ministry. 
Their grievances were the occupation of Port St. John's 
and the annexation of the Xesibe district. In the plain- 
est language, and over and over again, his Excellency 
informed them that these questions could not be re- 
opened, but that in all other matters the government 
was prepared to act most liberally towards them. They 
continued, however, to harp upon these subjects, con- 
tended that the government might remove the Xesibes 
by force and give them the ground, and persistently 
declined to deal with any other matter until these 
questions were settled in their favour. 

Nothing therefore came of the conference, but a little 
later an arrangement was made by the secretary for 
native affairs that the deputation upon its return to 
Pondoland should call a meeting of the tribe and as- 
certain whether the people would consent to arrange all 
differences, letting the questions of the Xesibe district 
and Port St. John's be considered as finally closed. If 
this were agreed to, Mr. De Wet undertook to proceed 
to Pondoland and deal with Umqikela in the most 
liberal manner. The deputation then left Capetown and 
returned home. 

The arrival of Umhlangaso in Pondoland was the 
signal for a renewal of the border disturbances. The 
Hlubi headman William Nota had been living in the 
Bode from a date several years before the Pondo 
occupation of that district. This man was on friendly 
terms with the Bacas, which was sufficient cause to 
bring on him Pondo vengeance. Some horses were 
stolen by Pondos from the Bacas beyond the Kode, and 
when the Bacas retaliated Nota gave the Pondos no 
assistance. To draw Nota's people on, a pretended quarrel 
at a beer-drinking party was arranged by Josiah Jenkins, 


History of the Cape Colony. [ l88 5 

and the Hlubis were then attacked. But the Pondos 
got more than they expected. After Nota was harassed 
for several days, on the 16th of November the Baca chief 
Nomtsheketshe crossed the border to his aid and Josiah 
was driven back from the Bode. Several Pondo kraals 
were looted. Other forces then arrived, and in turn 
Nota was obliged to flee. 

The chief magistrate of Griqualand East called upon 
Umqikela to cause hostilities to cease, and reminded 
him that he had given a guarantee to treat Nota fairly. 
To this Umqikela replied on the '21st of November that 
Nota could not return to the Bode before an investiga- 
tion took place, and on the 12th of December he sent 
his messenger Bulawako to say that Nota had forfeited 
all right to his former place of residence. He requested 
that the Hlubi headman should be removed to British 
territory, as he was still holding a position on the 
Pondo side of the line, or that the Bacas should be 
restrained from helping him while the Pondos drove 
him out. And on the 28th of November the ground 
which Nota had occupied in the Bode was given to 
a party of Griquas in a formal document signed by 
Umhlangaso for Umqikela. 

At this time a solitary act of justice occurred on the 
part of the Pondos. Three head of cattle which had 
been stolen from some Xesibes were restored by the 
Pondo chief Umdutshana, and the thieves were fined a 
goat and a sheep. 

For Borne months apprehensions had been felt that a 
coalition between Umqikela and Nquiliso was impending. 
McNichoIas was exerting himself to bring this about, and 
there were indications that Nquiliso was less friendly to 
the colonial government than he once had been. The 
principal of these was that he had closed the main 
I from King-Williamstown to Kokstad which ran 
through a projecting point of his territory bordering on 
the Umtata river, thus causing all traffic to make a 

1 886] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 191 

detour of several kilometres. After the purchase from 
him of the little slip of land at the mouth of the Um- 
zimvubu, a road from the port towards Umtata had been 
constructed for a short distance, but the work bad then 
been suspended. Nquiliso now maintained that the 
colonial government, having done nothing to it for so 
many years, had lost its right to construct a new road 
to Umtata according to the original agreement. He ad- 
mitted the right of the government to use the old road 
from the port to Umtata, but not to make a new one. 
The old road was much longer than was necessary, and 
was so steep in places that it was of little use. Another 
unsatisfactory matter was the virtual protection given by 
the Western Pondos to cattle thieves. 

It seemed to the government a matter of much im- 
portance to maintain a good understanding with Nquiliso, 
and the secretary for native affairs therefore had a con- 
ference with him on the eastern bank of the Umtata on 
the 7th of December 1885. The chief magistrates of 
Tembuland and Griqualand East were present at the 
meeting. Nquiliso was attended by his counsellors and a 
considerable number of people. Mr. De Wet stated that 
it was his earnest desire to be on the most friendly 
terms with the Western Pondos, and he felt confident 
that they were similarly disposed. There was no grave 
subject of difference between them, but there were some 
minor matters causing irritation; these he would mention, 
and they could then discuss them amicably. He brought 
forward the subjects above named. 

Nquiliso replied that the reason the great eastern road 
running through the point of his territory had been 
closed was because the redwater disease had got among 
his cattle through it. For this reason also his people did 
not wish a new road opened from Port St. John's to 
Umtata. With regard to giving protection to cattle 
thieves, he complained that people living in colonial 
territory stole from him without his obtaining any 

192 History of the Cape Colony. [1885 

redress, and he mentioned Pali, chief of the little clan 
termed the Amatshezi, as the great offender in this 
respect. He spoke a good deal about the right of the 
Western Pondos to independence of Umqikela. 

The secretary for native affairs in reply brought to 
Nquiliso's notice that the redwater was already every- 
where in the country, that closing old roads or preventing 
new ones being opened would not eradicate it, that although 
the roads were made and kept in repair at the exclusive 
cost of the Cape Colony the Pondos had as much right 
to use them as British subjects had, and that steps 
would be taken to compel Pali to abstain from annoying 
his neighbours, though that chief was not altogether 
under colonial authority. He wished Nquiliso and his 
people to consent to the construction by the government 
of a road from Port St. John's to Umtata wherever it 
could be made most easily, with a branch in the direction 
of Shawbury; to sell the few kilometres of the main road 
from King-Williamstown to Kokstad which was in their 
territory ; and to agree to the mutual surrender of fugi- 
tive thieves. He was asking them for no privileges for 
British subjects in their territory, he said, which he was 
not prepared to give to Pondos — which in fact they 
already had — in the Cape Colony. He desired them to 
discuss these questions among themselves before giving a 
reply, and if they needed any further explanations to 
ask Major Elliot for them. As for the claim of the 
Western Pondos to be entirely independent of Umqikela, 
the colonial government had dealt with Nquiliso as an 
independent chief ever since 1878, and would continue 
to do so. 

Nquiliso and his people left the meeting on the best 
of terms with the secretary for native affairs, and the 
result was that after some negotiation through Major 
Klliot, they gave their approval to the construction of 
the best road that could be made from Port St. John's 
to Umtata with a branch towards SJiawbury, agreed to 

!885] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 193 

sell the portion of the great eastern road which was in 
their territory for £15, and consented to the extradition 
of runaway cattle thieves. 

The position of the Amatshezi chief Pali was an 
obstacle to dealing with the Western Pondos in a satis- 
factory manner. His clan had come down from the far 
north during the time of the Zulu conquests, and had 
been located by the Tembu chief Vusani on a tract of 
land west of the Umtata and close to the coast. For 
half a century the Amatshezi had been living there, 
nominally in a state of vassalage to the Tembus, but 
really in a condition of independence. When Gangelizwe 
ceded Tembuland, Pali ignored the new authorities. The 
position which he assumed interfered with the course of 
justice. Complaints of robberies committed by his people, 
and even of murders, were frequently made by British 
subjects who believed themselves entitled to redress by 
the government. 

Pali was therefore required to submit. Nquiliso willingly 
assisted to bring him to terms, by closing the fords of 
the Umtata against him and supplying an armed force to 
drive him back if he should attempt to make his escape. 
The Galeka chief Kreli, who was then living on a tract 
of land in Elliotdale purchased by the government from 
the Bomvans chief Langa, son of Moni, and given to 
him as a location, did the same on the other side. A 
company of the Cape mounted rifles marched to his 
kraal, when Pali, finding himself surrounded and unsup- 
ported, made his submission to Major Elliot, chief 
magistrate of Tembuland. On the 30th of May 1886 an 
agreement was entered into with him, by which he 
admitted himself to be a British subject. He was placed 
under the jurisdiction of the resident magistrate of 
Mqanduli, and thereafter his people were liable to 
punishment for crime. They behaved tolerably well, and 
one of the standing difficulties in the government of the 
country and the maintenance of friendly relations with 


194 History of the Cape Colony. {1886 

the Western Pondos was surmounted by their subjection 
to colonial authority. \ 

After the conference with Nquiliso the secretary for 
native affairs proceeded on his tour. As no intimation 
had reached him that the Eastern Pondos were willing 
to come to terms, he concluded that it would not only 
be useless but a sacrifice of self-respect to visit Umqikela. 
To leave every avenue open for an accommodation of the 
differences, however, he caused a message to be sent to 
the chief that he would be in Kokstad from the 10th to 
the 14th of December, and would be prepared to receive 
and deal with any communications from him. 

On the 9th of December 1885 Mr. De Wet met 
Josiah Jenkins at Nceba. Josiah complained of the 
assistance given by the Bacas to William Nota, and 
stated that Umqikela's decision was that Nota had for- 
feited all rights as a Pondo subject. In Umqikela's 
name he asked that the government should remove Nota 
from Pondo territory or restrain the Bacas from inter- 
fering while the Pondos drove him out. Mr. De Wet 
replied that he was ready to assist in a friendly and 
peaceable arrangement of matters in connection with the 
disturbances in the Kode, but from what he had just 
heard, as well as from earlier information, it was clear 
that Umqikela, without considering Nota's version of 
what had taken place, had given his decision, and under 
these circumstances he did not see how he could take 
part in a settlement. The government would not remove 
Nota, nor could he admit that Umqikela had a right to 
drive that headman and his people into colonial territory. 
Any advance made by the Pondos towards a reasonable 
solution of the difficulties would be promptly met by the 

On the 19th of December Umqikela sent a message to 
the chief magistrate of Griqualand East, intimating his 
willingness to treat on other terms than those demanded 
by the deputation in Capetown, and asking that a com- 

1 886] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 195 

missioner should be sent, as the chiefs and people were 
prepared to assemble and discuss matters. Thereupon 
Mr. W. E. Stanford was appointed commissioner, and 
Umqikela fixed the 7th of January 1886 as the day of 
meeting. The first object which the government had in 
view was the protection of the boundary, and it was 
therefore necessary to induce Umqikela to prevent cattle 
thefts by punishing the thieves. It was necessary also 
to induce him to remove all restrictions from legitimate 
trade. In addition to these objects, Mr. Stanford was 
instructed to endeavour to purchase the Kode, including 
the main road through it, and he was authorised to offer 
£3,000 for its cession. He was further authorised to offer 
Umqikela £2,000 as compensation for the loss of presents 
which he at one time received from persons landing cargo 
at Port St. John's, provided the Pondos would acknow- 
ledge the right of the colonial government to the port 
and grant the further right to construct and maintain 
roads to Kokstad with necessary outspans from any port 
that might be opened in Eastern Pondoland. Such roads 
were to be without tolls, and Pondos were also to have 
the free use of them. Mr. Stanford was authorised to 
raise his offer to £7,000 in all rather than allow nego- 
tiations to fall through. 

Mr. Stanford was at Umqikela's kraal on the 7th as 
arranged, but was kept waiting until the 11th, when the 
leading chiefs and counsellors of the tribe assembled, and 
the conference commenced. It was at once evident that 
the Pondos were unwilling to discuss any questions 
whatever or to enter into arrangements of any kind until 
the government conceded their demands with regard to the 
Xesibe district and Port St. John's. Argument on the 
part of the commissioner and of Mr. Donald Strachan, 
continued throughout the 12th, was of no avail. Umqi- 
kela himself appeared willing to yield, but Umhlangaso 
was obstinate. All that Mr. Stanford could effect was to 
obtain Umqikela's promise to issue orders that Pondos 

1 96 History of the Cape Colony. 1*886 

stealing from Bacas were to be punished, but the chief 
repeated the statement he had already made by letter, 
that no Xesibe stock traced into Pondoland would be 
restored while the question of Jojo being taken over by 
the colonial government remained unsettled. 

On the 8th of February a party of Pondos fired 
across the Umzimvubu at a kraal on the Mount Frere 
side occupied by the headman Nomtsheketshe, and 
wounded a young man named Siwene. The act was 
entirely unprovoked. Nomtsheketshe's people assembled and 
returned the fire, but though a -good deal of powder was 
burned on both sides, no further damage was done. 

On the same day Umhlangaso, who professed that he 
had been instructed by Umqikela to investigate the cause 
of the disturbance in the Rode, attacked William Nota 
and drove him into Gogela's location on the Griqualand 
side of the border. Gogela's people, Nomtsheketshe's 
Bacas, and some others went to Nota's assistance, when 
the Pondos fell back over the boundary. The allies of 
Nota followed them, and • a battle took place on the 
Pondo side of the line, in which some ten Pondos and 
fifteen Bacas were killed. Two days later Umhlangaso 
wrote to the chief magistrate that he was to keep 
William Nota and his people in Griqualand East, as the 
Pondos did not want him and would not have him. 

For some time the policy of the Eastern Pondo chiefs 
had been to drive into Griqualand East all persons who 
would not fuse with their tribe. Independently of the 
Bacas, the Pondomsis, the Xesibes, and the people of 
Alfred county in Natal, a very large" proportion of those 
who had been subjected to Pondo supremacy by the 
treaty of 1844 were unwilling to become Pondos in 
reality. In recent years great numbers of these had been 
accused of dealing in witchcraft, and had fled for their 
lives to the already crowded locations on the colonial side 
of the boundary. This was what the Pondos desired that 
the Xesibes should do. They did not want the people, 

1878] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 197 

but the ground which they occupied. The Pondos were 
like all Bantu tribes in a condition of comparative peace, 
increasing in number so rapidly that they desired terri- 
tory to expand upon, and in this manner they were 
endeavouring to acquire it, as was only natural under the 

They were therefore desirous that William Nota should 
be provided for by the colonial government. But the 
great permanent difficulty with the European authorities 
was to provide ground for their own subjects, who were 
increasing at an amazing rate, and they could Dot be 
burdened with refugees from Pondoland. There was no 
vacant space on which Nota's people could be located, 
and a remonstrance against his expulsion was therefore 
sent to Umqikela, though it was deemed inexpedient to 
maintain him in the Kode by force. Just previously the 
number of Bacas and Xesibes to whom rifles had been 
issued was increased to a thousand of each tribe, and the 
colonial forces on the border had been strengthened with 
a view of trying to prevent the constant disturbances. 

On the 21st of March a theft of two horses by Pondos 
from Xesibes led to a reprisal, upon which a Pondo 
army was mustered, and the Xesibe country was invaded. 
The Xesibes hastened to meet the invaders, and a skir- 
mish took place, in which the Pondos were repulsed with 
a loss of twenty-two killed. The Xesibe loss was less, 
and they followed up the fugitives and burnt several 
kraals. That so small a clan was able to obtain a victory 
over a force greatly superior to itself in number is sur- 
prising, but the Xesibes had long been noted for bravery. 
In course of time, however, they would certainly have 
disappeared through attrition, if the Europeans had not 
come to their assistance, as they were unable to bear 
such losses as the Pondos were hardly affected by. 

On the 25th of March the Baca chief Makaula raised 
a strong force, with which he took possession of the 
Rode and restored to William Nota the ground from 

198 History of the Cape Colony. L l886 

which he had been expelled. He then announced his 
intention to keep possession of the remainder of the 
Kode ; but the secretary for native affairs required him 
to return to Mount Frere, and informed him that muni- 
tions of war had been supplied to the Bacas to defend 
themselves on their own ground and not for aggressive 
purposes. The government, he added, could not counten- 
ance an invasion of Pondo territory. 

Note. — That the Pondos are the most backward of all the tribes 
between the river Kei and Natal is shown by their comparative 
disregard of the education of their children in mission schools. In 
this respect the Fingos are the most advanced. In 1904 there were 
in Transkei 245 schools, attended by 12,441 children, in Tembuland 
225 schools, attended by 7,449 children, in Griqualand East 289 schools, 
attended by 11,577 children, and in Pondoland only 90 schools, 
attended by 2,269 children. In these statistics, taken from the 
census returns of 1904, European children and schools attended 
solely by them are included, but their number is not very large. 
There is no reason why there should not be as many children 
receiving the benefit of primary education in Pondoland as in Trans- 
kei, except the lack of interest on the part of the parents. 



Such raids and skirmishes as those of which an account 
is given in these chapters were ordinary occurrences in 
the life of all independent Bantu tribes. They provided 
that occasional excitement which people of every race 
are fond of, and they served the useful purpose of keep- 
ing up the bodily vigour and courage of the adult 
males. To some extent also they were a check upon too 
rapid an increase of population, though as the loss of 
life was almost confined to men, in a state of society 
where polygamy prevailed this effect was not very marked. 
But natural as such a state of things seemed to the 
Bantu, it could not be regarded with complacency by the 
European authorities, where half the actors were British 
subjects, and any accident might cause the disturbances 
to spread far into British territory. It would not have 
been tolerated as long as it was, had not the imperial 
government refused to consent to an act apparently so 
high-handed as the summary substitution of colonial 
authority for that of the Pondo chief. 

So matters went on as before, with an occasional lull 
in cattle lifting and skirmishes, and now and again a 
brief effort on the part of the Pondo ruler to accom- 
modate himself to the opinions of thej white man. 
Thus on the 6th of May 1886 Umqikela issued a notice 
withdrawing his order imposing duties on waggons 
coming from the Cape Colony and tolls on the main 
road. The secretary for native affairs at once informed 
him that this action was accepted as an indication of 
the chief's wish to arrive at a satisfactory and permanent 


200 History of the Cape Colony. [1886 

settlement of the relations between him and the colony, 
and that the government trusted he would give effect 
to his pacific intentions by appointing an early day for 
the meeting of his delegates with representatives of the 
colony for the purpose of arranging matters. 

The fair prospect of an amicable settlement was, how- 
ever, almost immediately clouded by the action of 
Umhlangaso, who threatened an invasion of the Xesibe 
district, and openly made preparations for war. There- 
upon Lieutenant Sampson was sent to Umqikela to in- 
form him that " an invasion of the Xesibe country or 
any other portion of colonial territory by an organised 
force of Pondos would be regarded as an open declara- 
tion of war against the Cape Colony." This message 
was delivered on the 18th of June. As the hostile 
threats and preparations of Umhlangaso continued, a large 
quantity of arms and ammunition was sent to the 
frontier posts, aud the military force in Griqualand East 
was increased to three hundred and twenty-three effective 

On the 3rd of August four head of cattle were stolen 
from a Xesibe named Kumka. The spoor was traced 
towards Pondoland, ancf on the following day Bumka 
and his friends seized in reprisal four cows and twenty- 
five goats belonging to the clan of the Amanci under 
Qipu, who were afterwards discovered to have been free 
of guilt in the original theft. The war cry was raised, 
the Xesibes were pursued, one of them was wounded, and 
both Xesibes and Amanci collected on the boundary. 
The magistrate of Mount Ayliff proceeded to the scene 
and induced the Xesibes to retire from the border. The 
Amanci, joined by the people of Tshetsha and some 
others, then invaded the Xesibe district, but were met 
by a well organised force and driven back. On the border 

/ took to flight, but were pursued by the Xesibes, 

n over a hundred of them were killed, sixty-eight 

of the Amanci being among the number. The con- 

1 886] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 201 

querors burnt twenty kraals and took possession of about 
two hundred head of cattle, which, however, were re- 
turned to Qipu as soon as those taken from Eumka were 
given up. 

On the 19th of August Umqikela's secretary addressed 
a letter to the chief magistrate of Griqualand East, in 
which he said : M The paramount chief of Pondoland 
desires me to inform you that in consequence of the 
invasion of Pondoland on the 6th instant and massacre 
of over a hundred- of his people by an army of Bacas 
and Xesibes, he must now consider the necessity of 
declining all further communications with the government 
of the Cape Colony or its officials pending an appeal to 
the high commissioner, as according to the message of 
that government delivered by Lieutenant Sampson any 
invasion of the Xesibe country or any other portion of 
colonial territory by an organised force of Pondos would 
be regarded as an open declaration of war against the 
colony, an organised force of Xesibes and Bacas having 
invaded Pondoland, the chief considers the Cape govern- 
ment has declared war upon the Pondos." 

The difficulty was increased at this time by the action 
of outside parties, which led the Pondos to believe that 
the Europeans were divided among themselves. In 
August a deputation from the Kokstad Political Associa- 
tion visited Umqikela with the object of obtaining the 
cooperation of the Pondos in petitioning the imperial 
government to send out a commission of inquiry and 
form a crown colony of Transkei, Tembuland, Griqualand 
East, Pondoland, and Basutoland. Messrs. Passmore and 
Fowle, who formed the deputation, were received in a 
friendly manner, but failed in the object of their 

There had been some correspondence between 
Umqikela's secretary and Mr. H. Escombe, of Durban, 
concerning Pondoland being taken under the protection 
of Natal, the object being to play off one colony against 

202 History of the Cape Colony. [ l886 

the other. This did little harm, but on the 18th of 
October the legislative council of Natal adopted without 
a division an address to the lieutenant-governor as 
follows: "The legislative council beg respectfully to re- 
quest your Excellency to take such measures as your 
Excellency may deem fit for the union of Pondoland to 
Natal, and that your Excellency will inform the secretary 
of state for the colonies that this colony protests against 
any and all proposals for the political separation of the 
two countries." 

In July Umqikela had proposed to the secretary for 
native affairs that the matters in dispute between the 
Cape government and the Pondos should be submitted 
to the decision of a board of arbitrators, and named as 
his representatives Sir Theophilus • Shepstone, Colonel 
Charles Duncan Griffith, and Mr. John James Irvine. 
In reply, Mr. De Wet desired to be informed what 
matters he wished to submit to arbitration. The 
grievances which the Cape government had against the 
Pondos were that they stole cattle from the Xesibes 
and Bacas, and refused to restore them. This matter 
was surely no subject for arbitration, and should be 
settled by the . chief. The other matters upon which 
negotiations had taken place — the extension of British 
sovereignty over Mount Ayliff and Port St. John's and 
the offer to purchase the Kode — were not subjects for 
arbitration, and on these grounds the government de- 
clined to entertain the proposal, but any offer made by 
the chief would receive due consideration. 

Sir Theophilus Shepstone was then appealed to by the 
Pondos for advice, but expressed his unwillingness to 
interfere in any way without the consent of the Cape 
government. The whole correspondence in connection 
with the matter was then forwarded by the lieutenant- 
governor of Natal to the secretary of state for the 
colonies, who on the 20th of September wrote as 
follows : 

1 886] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 203 

"You will perceive that the so-called claims of the 
Pondos consist chiefly in demands that the St. John's 
river mouth territory should be receded to them, and 
that the Xesibes or their country should be given up to 
them. The St. John's river mouth territory has for 
some years been incorporated with the Cape Colony, and 
by a decision of my immediate predecessor the same 
course has now been taken with the Xesibe country 
The demands of the Pondos, as expressed by their 
European advisers, are therefore clearly inadmissible, and 
nothing remains for them but to adopt the offers made 
by the Cape government and the high commissioner that 
they should treat on the basis of receiving a pecuniary 
solatium in consideration of what it has rightly or 
wrongly been deemed necessary on grounds of policy 
to take from them. Indeed, I have some reason to 
believe, from information placed before me within the 
last few days, that the Pondos and their advisers are 
preparing to depart from the impracticable attitude 
assumed by them during the conference at Capetown in 
October 1885. In these circumstances it would only 
seem to retard a satisfactory solution of the pending 
difficulties if the Pondos were to appear to receive en- 
couragement from any persons of authority outside the 
immediate circle of those hitherto concerned with the 

In August six head of cattle were stolen from the 
Bacas by the people of the petty chief Magatyana, 
who refused to restore them. The Bacas then made a 
reprisal, by burning four of Magatyana's kraals, seizing 
nineteen head of cattle, and killing one Pondo. 

In November the government caused a return of thefts 
of cattle during the period from the 1st of November 
1884 to the 31st of October 1886 to be made up as 
accurately as possible by the officers on the border. 
This showed that eight hundred and seventy-six head 
had been taken by the Pondos from the Xesibes and 

204 History of the Cape Colony. \\%%d 

Bacas, of which one hundred and thirty-eight head had 
been recovered. Five hundred and ninety-one head had 
been taken by the Xesibes and Bacas from the Pondos, 
of which four hundred and seventy head had been 
restored. The balance against the Pondos was six 
hundred and seventeen head. 

Rumours that Umhlangaso was threatening to attack 
the Xesibes had been rife for many months, but it was 
hoped that the strengthening of the military posts on 
the border and the issue of arms to the Bacas and 
Xesibes would prevent his threats being put into 
execution. On the 20th of October, however, a Pondo 
force at the lowest estimate four thousand strong, in 
five divisions, led by Ketshwayo, Umqikela's eldest son, 
assisted by Umhlangaso and other men of position in 
the tribe, invaded the Xesibe country. The Xesibes, 
taken by surprise, made a very feeble resistance, their 
attention being mainly directed to driving their cattle to 
places of safety. The attack was made so suddenly that 
there was not time to bring the Cape mounted riflemen 
against the invaders, who retired at five o'clock in the 
afternoon, having burnt about fifty Xesibe kraals. Three 
Xesibes were killed and three wounded, and twelve Pondos 
were killed. 

Bags containing food were found with the 'Pondo 
corpses, indicating that the expedition had been thoroughly 
organised. It was afterwards ascertained that an army 
of about fifteen thousand men had been assembled at 
Emfundisweni, where it was divided into two sections. 
One of these marched against the Xesibes, the other 
was intended to operate against the Bacas and those 
border clans who though nominally Pondo vassals were 
known by the Pondo chiefs to be hostile at heart. 
Owing to jealousy and division among themselves, 
the last section had done nothing, while the first had 
carried out the task assigned to it. This great army 
had been collected from all the genuine Pondo kraals 

1 886] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 205 

east of the Umzimvubu except one large clan which 
was left to watch Port St. John's. 

As soon as the intelligence reached Kokstad, the chief 
magistrate of Griqualand East, taking with him all the 
Cape mounted riflemen available, hastened to the Xesibe 
country. He found the Xesibes somewhat dispirited, 
owing to the large destruction of their huts and house- 
hold effects and the strength of the force opposed to them. 
The Pondos were encamped behind some ridges well 
within their own territory, and showed themselves on 
the 21st, but did not approach the border again. 

On the 24th of October the government directed a 
corps of six hundred men to be raised in lihe district of 
Umzimkulu to strengthen the military force in the 
Xesibe country, and volunteers to be enrolled and held 
in readiness to move wherever required. The secretary 
for native affairs, when authorising this, stated that 
" whilst the government felt it to be their duty to 
defend her Majesty's subjects in their own country, and 
to inflict by all the means at their command the 
severest possible punishment upon the Pondos when 
they invade British territory, it was their wish for the 
present not to invade Pondoland." He added that while 
the regular forces should therefore be forbidden to cross 
the boundary, it would be dangerous to put too much 
strain upon the Bacas and Xesibes, for by so doing 
their loyalty might be destroyed. 

It was expected every moment that* the Pondos 
would make another attack. According to reports, the 
Basuto were about to aid the Pondos, and the Pondomsi 
chief Umhlonhlo was pledged to do the same. On the 
other hand, several Pondo vassal chiefs sent to assure 
the chief magistrate of Griqualand East that they would 
not fight against the colonial government. Tshatsha, a 
Pondo vassal, allied himself with the Bacas, and 
William Nota's clan was armed on the side of the 

206 History of the Cape Colony. [1886 

On the 28th of October three hundred more men 
were enrolled in the Umzimkulu district and sent to 
the Pondo-Xesibe border. Horsemen were paid three 
shillings and footmen two shillings a day, on condition 
that they could be disbanded at any time on a week's 
notice. All available Cape mounted riflemen were at 
the same time ordered to proceed to the scene of dis- 
turbance with as little delay as possible. As soon as a 
sufficient force should be concentrated on the border, it 
was the intention of the colonial government to make 
a formal demand upon Umqikela to explain his conduct 
in reference to the invasion of British territory by the 
Pondo forces on the 20th of October, and eventually for 
such reparation as might be decided upon. 

On the 29th of October some three or four hundred 
Xesibes made a rapid dash into Pondoland, burnt the 
kraals of the chief Ntola, and killed two Pondos, with a 
loss to themselves of one man wounded. On the same 
day a public meeting was held at Kokstad to discuss 
affairs, when seventy Griquas. offered their services, of 
whom fifty were enrolled and sent to the front. 

By the 5th of November the government had a suffi- 
cient force on the Pondo-Xesibe border to ensure supe- 
riority in strength in case the Pondos should attempt 
another invasion, and on that day Mr. Stanford was 
directed to send to Umqikela the following message : 

''After many gross outrages committed by your people 
against persons resident in colonial territory, notwithstand- 
ing the efforts made by the colonial government to 
establish a lasting peace on the Pondo border, you were 
informed in March last that your hostile acts could be 
tolerated no longer, and you were then warned that any 
invasion of the Xesibe country or any other part of 
colonial territory by an organised force would be re- 
garded as an open declaration of war against the colony. 
In defiance of that warning your people have not only 
continued to commit outrages upon the life and property 

t886] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 207 

of her Majesty's subjects in colonial territory, but acting 
on a preconceived plan a large organised and equipped 
force of your people collected at and about the great place, 
and marched under your own personal command to 
Emfundisweni, where the command was transferred to 
your two sons and Umhlangaso, your chief counsellor, 
for the purpose of invading colonial territory. Subse- 
quently that force on the 20th ultimo, headed as men- 
tioned above, deliberately and wantonly invaded colonial 
territory, committed murder, and destroyed many huts and 
much property. Under these circumstances the govern- 
ment is now bound to call upon you to give in writing 
an explanation of your open declaration of war together 
with such offer of reparation and proposals for the 
future control of your people as you may wish to make, 
such writing or written reply to be delivered to the chief 
magistrate of Griqualand East at such place as he may 
appoint within four days from the receipt of this message. 
In case of your failure so to do, or in case your explana- 
tion, offer, and proposals be not deemed by the colonial 
government to be satisfactory, you are hereby warned 
that upon you rest the consequences." 

The display of force had the effect of causing several 
chiefs to tender their services to the government. 
Dalindyebo offered the chief magistrate of Tembuland to 
call out any number of his Tembus that might be re- 
quired. The Galeka chief Kreli sent to Major Elliot to 
say that he was ready to obey the orders of the govern- 
ment to the utmost of his power. One chief in Western 
Pdhdoland and four of the most powerful Eastern Pondo 
vassals sent word to say 'that in case Pondoland should 
be invaded by the government forces they would assist 
them. At the call of the magistrate of Matatiele, 
George Moshesh joined the Abalondolozi * with a con- 
siderable following. 

* The Protectors, the name assumed by the Bantu levies under Com- 
mandant Donald Strachan. 

2o8 History of the Cape Colony. [1886 

The Amanci chief Qipu sent the following message to 
Umqikela : " I shall now hand myself and people over 
to the colonial government. My people and brothers have 
been killed in a fight with government people brought 
about by Pondo thieves who still have the cattle in their 
possession. Had you come into collision with the colonial 
government on some question which justified your going 
to war, I would have loyally supported you and fought 
to the last on your side, but I cannot fight for a country 
governed by thieves and in a thieves' war." 

In his reply to Qipu, Umqikela threw upon Umhlan- 
gaso the blame for the condition of the country ; but 
in his answer to the government message delivered to 
him on the 7th of November he assumed another tone. 
He at first asked for an extension of the four days allowed 
him for consideration, as he said that period was too 
short for consultation with his sub-chiefs. The time was 
then extended to the 13th of November. On the 11th his 
counsellors, with Umhlangaso and the reverend Mr. 
Hargreaves, had a meeting at Emfundisweni, and on the 
13th the following letter was delivered to the chief 
magistrate of Griqualand East by the counsellors Notanda 
and Bulawako with six attendants, the reverend Mr. 
Hargreaves, and Mr. Bowles, a trader in Pondoland : 

" In your message to me I am accused of having 
equipped, organised, and collected at the great place a 
force to invade colonial territory. This I deny for the 
following reasons : according to our custom when an 
umy leaves the great place to invade a foreign territory 
certain ceremonies have to be gone through, which 
have existed for time immemorial and are well known 
bo both black and white. Presuming that you refer to 
the attack on the 20th ultimo upon the Xesibe kraals, 
I can call many white inhabitants to prove that the 
custom ukwelapa* was not gone through. How then can 

* Ukwelapa is the ceremony of preparing the army for war by the 

tribal priest. 

1 886] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 209 

I personally be charged with having organised as stated, 
as I did not leave the great place for some days after, 
and when I heard that my son Ketshwayo had started 
I sent a special messenger telling him to return. The 
truth is, my people were uncontrollable, as they were 
smarting under a defeat in which one hundred and 
twenty-nine of my people, the Amanci, were killed by 
the Xesibes. I beg to assure you of my sincere desire 
to maintain, as my forefathers have ever done, peace 
and goodwill towards the Cape colonial government, and 
I sincerely trust that this feeling is reciprocated. For 
this reason I must ask you to consent to an extension 
of time to consult with my chiefs and headmen. As I 
cannot thoroughly comprehend what you mean by repara- 
tion, may I solicit the favour of your appointing a 
commission to meet my subordinate chiefs and indunas 
at any convenient place within a reasonable time to 
fully consider all matters referred to in your communica- 
tion, which will I trust be the means of bringing about 
a lasting peace and of placing all matters political and 
otherwise upon a satisfactory basis. I crave this indul- 
gence and extension of time to thoroughly consider all 
the points referred to in your message, so that should 
my wish be granted I have no doubt the delay will 
mutually be productive of good." 

This letter, though written in Umqikela's name, was 
the production of a European, as its phraseology shows. 
Josiah Jenkins was not its author. But if there is 
sometimes a difficulty in dealing with barbarians who are 
prompted by clever white men, there is often an advan- 
tage in being able to ascertain at once all the strong 
points in an adverse case. It was so in this instance. 
War, according to the writer of the letter, had not 
been intended by the chief, or the army would certainly 
have been prepared for it in the only manner known to 
the Bantu, for according to their ideas it was as neces- 
sary that a warrior should be fortified for battle as that 


210 History of the Cape Colony. [1886 

he should carry weapons of offence. But the weak point 
on this occasion was that the advisers of the chief had 
induced him to omit the ceremony purposely to furnish 
him with a plea thereafter, and dependence had been 
placed on overwhelming numbers rather than on im- 
munity from harm by the enemy. 

The government agreed to an extension of time for 
the purpose indicated. On the 24th of November a great 
meeting was held at Umqikela's residence, but it was 
not attended by the border chiefs. On the 29th Umqikela 
sent a message to Mr. Stanford, chief magistrate of 
Griqualand East, asking that officer to meet him or his 
representatives on the 2nd of December, and it was 
arranged that the conference should take place at Fort 
Donald in the Xesibe district. 

There were various disquieting circumstances at the 
time which prevented the government from reducing the 
large force assembled on the border. Certain Europeans 
were instigating the Pondos to pursue a course which 
could only end in disaster to the tribe while involving 
the Cape Colony in difficulties, and their advice was 
listened to by some of the chiefs. Then there was a 
general slaughter of the swine, which was afterwards 
ascertained to have been caused by fear of disease, but 
which at the time was believed by many to be a super- 
stitious act such as those which occur before nearly 
every war. On the 15th of November Umqikela's eldest 
son Ketshwayo — the same who commanded in the raid 
of the 20th of October — died suddenly, and it was 
generally supposed that his death would have a disquiet- 
ing effect. 

On the 2nd of December Mr. Stanford was at Fort 
honald, but Umqikela did not arrive. It had been rain- 
ing very heavily, and the excuse which he sent was 
that his sub-chiefs had not been able to assemble. 
I mhlangaso and the reverend Mr. Hargreaves, who 
appeared for the chief, stated that the Pondos were 

1 886] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 211 

anxious to discuss all matters in dispute, and requested 
Mr. Stanford to postpone the conference to the 6th and 
consent to its taking place at Emfundisweni, where they 
said Umqikela would meet him. Mr. Stanford agreed to 
the postponement, which was inevitable ; but for obvious 
reasons could not agree to Emfundisweni as the place 
of meeting. He proposed Ntola's kraal, about twenty 
minutes' ride beyond the border, and this the Pondo 
delegates agreed to. 

As a chief of Umqikela's rank, in accordance with 
Bantu custom, could not travel in his own country with- 
out a large following, and as it was certain that on 
this occasion the Pondos would be armed and appear in 
great strength, Mr. Stanford took with him all the 
forces on the border, under command of Colonel Bayly, 
to show that while the colonial government was desirous 
of peace, it was prepared for war if war must come. 
The Pondo delegates were informed of the course that 
would be taken, in order to protect the government 
against the charge of marching an armed force into 
Pondoland, which the chiefs would be sure to make in 
the event of a disturbance. 

In view of the negotiations which were about to take 
place, Mr. Stanford was informed by the secretary for 
native affairs that " the questions of the annexation of 
the Xesibe country and of Port St. John's must be 
looked upon as closed books." Since 1878 that position 
had been maintained by both the imperial and the 
colonial governments, and it could not be receded from. 
The government, however, was still prepared to carry 
out its former offers of a solatium with respect to these 
matters, if the Pondos should be willing to arrange the 
questions of raids and thefts satisfactorily. 

On the 6th of December Mr. Stanford arrived at 
Ntola's kraal. Colonel Bayly selected a site for a camp 
for the Cape mounted riflemen near the Kokstad side of 
the kraal, and the Abalondolozi under Commandant 

212 History of the Cape Colony. [1886 

Strachan took up a position in the rear. A little later 
Umqikela's sons Sigcawu and Hamu, accompanied by 
Umhlangaso and other chiefs, and attended by about 
two thousand armed followers, arrived at the kraal. The 
chiefs with the reverend Mr. Hargreaves and fifty un- 
armed men rode to the camp, and greeted Mr. Stanford 
and Colonel Bayly. Umhlangaso expressed regret that 
owing to illness Umqikela was unable to keep the 
appointment he had made, and informed the chief magis- 
trate that he and Umqikela's sons had been authorised 
to open the discussion. Mr. Stanford inquired if they 
had full authority from Umqikela to treat. Umhlangaso 
replied they had not, as it was uncertain whether 
Umqikela might not still be able to be present. Mr. 
Stanford said that under these circumstances he must 
decline to recognise them as representatives of Umqikela, 
with whom the colonial government had to deal. 
Umhlangaso then offered to send a messenger to Umqikela 
immediately to ask him to come at once, or, if he was 
unable to travel, to authorise representatives to act 
in his stead and with his full authority. Mr. Stanford 
gave his consent to this proposal, and it was arranged 
that the result should be made known on the fol- 
lowing day. 

On the 7th of December the Pondo deputies assembled 
in the afternoon, when Mr. Stanford met them and 
inquired what answer had been received from Umqikela. 
Maboza, a counsellor, replied that the chief was very ill 
and would not be able to attend. Mr. Stanford then 
asked if those present were authorised to represent the 
great chief, and to deal fully and decisively with the 
questions that required settlement. Maboza made answer 
that, although the chief was ill, he was not dead, and 
that those present would discuss matters, but refer the 
»n to Umqikela. Mr. Stanford objected at once and 
finally to this scheme, whereupon Umhlangaso spoke up 
saying they had full power. 

1 886] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 213 

To make sure of his position with such wily diplo- 
matists, Mr. Stanford stated that the colonial government 
had to deal with Umqikela; that Umqikela had promised 
to attend a conference at Fort Donald, but had failed 
to do so ; that he had then promised to attend at 
Ntola's kraal, and had again failed to keep his engage- 
ment ; but if they were fully empowered to act in his 
name, he was prepared to proceed with the negotiations. 
This being assented to, Umhlangaso asked for a state- 
ment of what the government desired. 

Mr. Stanford then commenced the discussion of the 
questions at issue. He spoke of the invasion of the 
Xesibe district on the 20th of October, and demanded 
satisfaction for it, pointing out particularly that it 
was not an instance of ordinary border disturbance, but 
was a premeditated and regularly organised attack by 
the whole tribe. From that matter he proceeded to the 
question of border control generally, and demanded the 
establishment of a system under which colonial subjects 
could obtain redress from Pondos for crimes committed 
against them. He referred next to the disturbances in 
the Kode, which resulted from Pondo misgovernment, 
and which would prove a constant source of irritation 
unless some decisive remedy were applied. And lastly, 
he alluded to the closing of the waggon road that had 
been in use for many years and the refusal to allow its 

Having heard Mr. Stanford's statements, the Pondo 
representatives retired to consult together. When they 
had done so, they returned, and agreed to open the 
road from Port St. John's to Kokstad and allow con- 
struction, repairs, and outspan places wherever necessary, 
to establish in conjunction with the chief magistrate of 
Griqualand East a better system on the border, and to 
carry out, especially in cases of theft, their own laws 
with regard to the punishment of thieves and the restora- 
tion of stolen property or compensation for it. 

214 History of the Cape Colony. [1887 

The condition of the Kode was then discussed. The 
Pondos were willing to cede it to the Cape Colony in 
exchange for land elsewhere ; but as that would mean 
reopening the Xesibe question, Mr. Stanford declined to 
entertain it. He offered to purchase the Kode for cash, 
and the representatives took the night to consider the 

On the 8th of December the conference was renewed 
in the afternoon. The matter of the Rode was the first 
brought forward, but after a brief discussion it was 
allowed to stand over, and the question of a solatium 
for the Xesibe district and Port St. John's was brought 
on. The Pondo representatives maintained that before 
1878 they had received an amount of money from every 
vessel that put into Port St. John's, of which they had 
been deprived since that date, and they therefore main- 
tained that they had a right to a share of the customs 
dues collected there. Mr. Stanford proposed to pay them 
a sum of money at once, but this they declined. They 
asked for £300 a year in perpetuity. Mr. Stanford offered 
£200, and this they accepted. It was agreed that the 
solatium for the Xesibe district should be £1,000 m 
money, the amount being less than the government was 
prepared to give in 1885, owing to the subsequent 
conduct of the Pondos. 

The matter of the Rode was then brought on again, 
and a long discussion ensued. Mr. Stanford laid great 
stress upon the invasion of the 20th of October and the 
expense to which the Cape Colony had been put in 
sending forces to the border. The purchase money, as 
finally agreed upon, was £600; and the chief magistrate 
of Griqualand East then, in the name of the govern- 
ment, informed the Pondo representatives that no further 
question would be raised regarding the late raid. The 
boundary of the Rode was decided to be the great 
waggon road from King-Williamstown to Kokstad and 
Natal. This arrangement was reduced to writing, Josiah 

1 888] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 215 

Jenkins acting as secretary, and was formally signed and 
witnessed. On the 10th of February 1887 it was con- 
firmed by Umqikela, who at the same time issued a 
proclamation to that effect in the style of a European 
potentate, and it was finally ratified by Sir Hercules 
Robinson as governor and high commissioner on the 
12th of March 1887. 

After this settlement of the grievances which the 
Pondos naturally had on account of the loss of territory 
once recognised as theirs, matters went on better for a 
time. Roads were constructed from Port St. John's to 
Umtata in one direction and to Kokstad in the other, 
without any interference by the chiefs or people, and the 
little traffic upon them was not disturbed. Thefts of 
cattle continued, but in some instances the stolen 
property was restored, though the thieves were allowed 
to go unpunished, so that others were not deterred from 
committing the same offence. 

In October 1887 Umqikela died. He had ruined his 
strong constitution by drunkenness, and had long been 
in a feeble state of health. He recognised that his end 
was hastened by his own misconduct, and to his credit 
when death was near he issued instructions that no one 
was to be smelt out or punished for having caused it. 
His people obeyed his dying command, though already 
one man, the counsellor G-abela, had been accused by a 
witchfinder of bringing on his sickness and had been 
killed. Umqikela left no generally recognised heir. His 
great wife, a daughter of the Galeka chief Kreli, had 
never borne a son. At a general assembly of the tribe 
in August 1885 it had been decided that the chief 
should name one of his inferior sons as his heir, who 
was then to be adopted by the great wife, but he had 
postponed doing so from time to time until it was too 

On the 13th of February 1888 a great meeting of the 
sub-chiefs and leading men of Eastern Pondoland was 


216 History of the Cape Colony. [1888 

held, when Umqikela's son Sigcawu was chosen as his 
snccessor. The condition of things required a strong, 
resolute ruler, and Sigcawu was so weak that very shortly 
each of the inferior chiefs did pretty much as he liked, 
and the country fell into a state of anarchy. Thefts of 
horses, horned cattle, and sheep from the people of 
Griqualand East became more frequent than before, and 
no redress whatever could be obtained. This made it 
almost impossible for the magistrates of the border 
districts to control the people, who began openly to say 
that British rule was a bad thing for them, inasmuch 
as they were punished when they took cattle from the 
Pondos, while the Pondos took theirs with impunity. 
They urged that they should be allowed to cross the 
border in arms to recover their property, and maintained 
stoutly that doing so would not be commencing war, 
for it was war already. If the young Pondos came 
across and stole cattle to show that they were men, 
why should those who had become British subjects not 
show that they also were men by retaliating? The 
Bacas especially were sorely' irritated by a taunt of the 
Pondos that soon all their horses would be gone, when 
they would be compelled to ride on pigs. It was only 
the good sense and authority of the chief Makaula that 
kept them from making an inroad into Pondoland and 
trying to avenge themselves. A strong police force was 
kept on the border to restrain them, as well as to try 
to protect them, which was not practicable along a 
line of such length. 

In Western Pondoland there was much less cattle 
lifting, but the internal condition of the country was 
such that sooner or later the British authorities would 
be compelled for humanity's sake to interfere. Nowhere 
else had superstition such a hold upon the minds of 
the people, nowhere else was the number of individuals 
put to death on charges of dealing ih witchcraft so 
appalling. The sub-chief Gwadiso was in rebellion 

1890] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 217 

against Nquiliso, and offered to cede his people and the 
ground on which he was living to the Cape Colony. 
The offer was not accepted, because the government 
wished to remain on good terms with Nquiliso, and 
therefore tried to restore concord, but without avail. The 
chief's sons were growing up, and were acting like the 
sons of Eli of old, their father having no control over 
them. Everything was thus tending to ruin. 

At this time Umhlangaso was trying to carry out a 
scheme of pitting another European power against Great 
Britain in dealing with the Pondos. He encouraged some 
private individuals of German birth, notably Lieutenant 
Nagel and a gentleman named Einwald, to form trading 
establishments in the country, and induced the chief to 
grant them various concessions which would have resulted 
in placing not alone the whole of the commerce, but 
any mining industry that might be developed entirely in 
their hands. He hoped through their means also to 
obtain large supplies of arms and ammunition, which 
would enable him to set the colonial authorities at 
defiance. His scheme failed, because those who obtained 
the concessions received no support from their mother 
country, but it served to show to what lengths Umhlan- 
gaso and "his partisans were prepared to go. 

Disturbances caused by feuds between different clans 
were frequent, but that was the normal condition of 
almost all Bantu tribes, especially of such tribes as the 
Pondo, which contained a great many alien groups of 
people, whose chiefs were not related to the family of 
the paramount ruler. In Western Pondoland the alien 
clans were more numerous than those of pure Pondo 
blood. They had been compelled by various circum- 
stances to become vassals of Faku, but they had not 
lost their feeling of semi-independence, nor had they 
forgotten ancient antipathies. The usual way of a Bantu 
paramount chief in dealing with such cases was to let 
the quarrelsome clans fight with each other, but when 

218 History of the Cape Colony. [1892 

they had gone far enough in his opinion, he fined both 
of them for his benefit. They were bound to account to 
him for every man killed, that is to solace him for the 
loss of his subjects, usually at the rate of an ox each if 
they were common people. This was the course pursued 
by Sigcawu and Nquiliso, and it seemed reasonable to 
the Bantu in the country, though the colonial authorities 
regarded it as dangerous to the general peace, inasmuch 
as people on their side of the border might easily be 
drawn into the strife. Weak men too, like Sigcawu and 
Nquiliso, could not always enforce the payment of the 
fines on such occasions, which made matters worse. 

In 1890 internal strife differing from this in its 
character broke out in Eastern Pondoland. Umhlangaso, 
who had held the position of chief counsellor to Umqikela, 
rose in rebellion against Sigcawu, whose election to the 
paramount chieftainship had not met with his entire 
approbation. An intensely vain man, just sufficiently 
educated from books to give him power for mischief, he 
tried first to govern the tribe through Sigcawu, and when 
that failed, he rose in revolt. Such a man can always 
find adherents where there are so many factions as there 
were in Pondoland, and his feud with Manundu enlisted 
on his side all the opponents of that chief. But Sig- 
cawu proved the stronger of the two, and Umhlangaso 
with all his band was driven from his ground at Inthlenzi. 
They took refuge in Griqualand East, and their cattle, 
which were driven into the district of Mount Ayliff, 
offered such a temptation to the Xesibes to make good 
their losses that it was next to impossible to preserve 
anything like order. Sigcawu's forces respected the 
boundary line, and made no attempt to follow the rebels 
across it, but the colonial authorities were unwilling to 
receive the refugees and provide for them. Umhlangaso 
was therefore informed that he must either return to 
I'ondoland and submit to Sigcawu, or be removed to 

1894] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 219 

He declined in the most emphatic terms to comply 
with the first of these alternatives, and hesitated about 
the other with a view to gain time, until as soon as 
he could arrange plans with his adherents, he suddenly 
recrossed the border and reoccupied Inthlenzi. There he 
was again attacked by Sigcawu, and was driven away 
the second time, when he retreated across the Umtam- 
vuna into Natal. It was now determined that he must 
be removed to Capetown, whether he would consent or 
not, as he could not be permitted longer to use British 
territory as a base of operations against his legitimate 
chief. But before this resolution could be carried into 
effect, he made a dash into the Isiseli, a district border- 
ing on the sea and lying along the right bank of the 
Umtamvuna. Here he and his adherents were received 
and supported by Patekile, chief of the Imizizi clan. 
The district was one well adapted for defence against 
forces that could only keep the field as long as the pro- 
visions each warrior carried with him lasted, and Sigcawu 
tried in vain to drive him out of it. On two occasions 
indeed Sigcawu's army was defeated, but he alleged that 
he could have beaten the rebels if his forces had not 
been discouraged by knowing that their opponents had 
Natal behind them as a refuge in time of need. So 
the rebellion of Umhlangaso was not suppressed, and the 
fighting continued through the years 1891, 92, and 93, 
keeping the whole country in a state of excitement and 

This circumstance forced Sigcawu to do his utmost 
to keep in favour with the colonial authorities, even had 
he not otherwise been disposed to do so. In 1892 he 
made an arrangement to pay five hundred head of full- 
grown horned cattle in settlement of all claims against 
his people for theft since December 1886, and he carried 
out his agreement to that effect with every mark of 
good faith. In 1893 he fell in cordially with a proposal 
of the colonial government to construct a strong barbed- 

220 History of the Cape Colony. [1894 

wire fence along the whole border between the district of 
Mount Ayliff and Pondoland, and gave permission for the 
sneezewood poles needed for it to be cut in his territory. 
This fence was of the greatest use thereafter in prevent- 
ing thefts of cattle and disputes as to the actual position 
of the boundary. Eecognised by the British magistrates 
on one side and by Sigcawu and his counsellors on the 
other, no one thought of questioning whether it should 
not have run differently, and even when it passed through 
the centre of Pondo gardens in one place and of Xesibe 
gardens in another, the occupants of the ground made 
no demur, but simply moved to their own side. It was 
something that every one could see, and felt bound to 
respect. Eobbers, who would have scrupled at little else, 
scrupled at cutting the wires, and never dared to break 
the locks of the gates which were closed at night. 

In November 1893 a private of the Cape mounted 
rifles, named Carty, was murdered on the border by two 
boys about sixteen years of age. There was in the act 
no other object than a desire to do something daring, 
and the boys did not deny the deed, but seemingly did not 
realise the enormity of their crime. Sigcawu caused them 
to be arrested, and handed them over to the chief 
magistrate of Griqualand East to be punished. They 
admitted that they were guilty of having done something 
that their chief did not approve of, but otherwise for 
the mere murder of a man of no consequence their 
consciences did not. trouble them. 

At the beginning of 1894 the colonial authorities re- 
garded the condition of things in Pondoland as such that 
the country and people must be brought at once under the 
control of civilised men. They would have annexed the 
territory long before, but for the objections raised by 
the imperial government, which had now been removed. 
Accordingly, Major Elliot was sent as a special commis- 
si- >ner to Nquiliso, with a message from the governor and 
high commissioner inviting or requiring him to place 

1894J Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 221 

himself and his people under the control of the Cape 
government. On the 8th of March he reached Ezinkum- 
beni, and found the chief not unwilling to do as he was 
desired. He admitted that anarchy was prevalent, that 
his sons were not so obedient as they might be, that 
some of his vassals were defiant, and that the wizards 
who were put to death were very numerous. But it 
was necessary before such an important matter could be 
settled that all the chiefs and leading men in Western 
Pondoland should be called together, and that the ques- 
tion should be discussed in its various bearings. 

A meeting was therefore convened, and the conclusion 
arrived at was in favour of the people becoming British 
subjects and their country British territory. On the 
19th of March 1894 a formal agreement to that effect 
was drawn up, signed, and witnessed at Ezinkumbeni, 
when Western Pondoland ceased to be an independent 
state. It was stipulated that Nquiliso should receive an 
allowance of £500, Bokuleni £100, and Dumezweni £50 
a year. The same laws and regulations were to be 
enforced as in Tembuland, and the same form of ad- 
ministration was to be observed. 

Mr. W. E. M. Stanford, chief magistrate of Griqualand 
East, conveyed a similar message to Sigcawu, and the 
result was identically the same. On the 17th of March 
1894 the mark of Sigcawu was attached to a deed of 
cession at Emfundisweni, and Eastern Pondoland became 
part of the British dominions. Sigcawu was to receive 
an allowance of £700 a year. 

The deeds of cession were ratified by Sir Henry Loch 
as governor and high commissioner, who on the 
20th of March in a iproclamation extended her Majesty's 
sovereignty over the whole of Pondoland. 

On the 3rd of April a royal commission was issued, in 
which the governor of the Cape Colony was appointed 
governor of Pondoland also. For a few months the 
territory remained in this condition, though practically 

222 History of the Cape Colony. [^94 

it was ruled by the Cape Colony acting through the 
secretary for native affairs, just as Transkei, Tembuland, 
and Griqualand East. An act annexing it to the Cape 
Colony was passed by parliament in the session of 1894, 
which was approved by the queen, and on the 25th of 
September was promulgated in the usual manner by 

Western Pondoland was divided into two magisterial 
districts, named Libode and Ngqeleni. On the 21st of 
March Mr. A. H. Stanford was installed as resident 
magistrate of the former, and on the 28th of March 
Mr. J, Glen Leary became resident magistrate of the 
latter. These two districts were then placed under the 
control of the chief magistrate of Tembuland, in the same 
manner as Umtata, Mqanduli, and the others mentioned 
in chapter vii. ' The population at the time was esti- 
mated at two hundred Europeans — including Cape mounted 
riflemen, — eighty Hottentots, and eighty thousand Bantu. 

Eastern Pondoland could not be so speedily reduced to 
order. It was necessary to bring Umhlangaso to submis- 
sion, and for this purpose Captain Dalgety with three 
hundred Cape mounted riflemen was sent to the Isiseli. 
Patekile, chief of the Imizizi, thereupon abandoned the 
insurgents, promised to make his peace with Sigcawu, and 
was pardoned on condition of paying a fine of two 
hundred head of cattle. As Natal was closed against 
them, Umhlangaso and his adherents, under five petty 
chiefs, then accepted the terms offered, and were brought 
out and located on a tract of land in the district of 
Kokstad, which was purchased by the government for 
their use. 

The territory was then divided into three magisterial 
districts, namely Umsikaba, in which Mr. W. Power 
Leary was stationed as magistrate, Tabankulu, in which 
Mr. H. B. Warner was stationed, and Bizana, which was 
confided to Major Howard Sprigg. The population of these 
tricts was estimated at six hundred Europeans — 


English Miles 



1894] Further Annexation of Bantu Territory. 223 

including the Cape mounted riflemen, — one hundred and 
eighty Hottentots and mixed breeds, and one hundred and 
five thousand Bantu. They were attached to the chief 
magistracy of Griqualand East. The area of Pondoland 
eastern and western is about three thousand seven hundred 
and thirty-six square miles or nine thousand six hundred 
and eighty square kilometres. 

The whole territory from the Kei to the border of Natal 
was now part of the Cape Colony. The enormous rate of 
increase of the Bantu under British protection, when they 
are not permitted to slaughter each other, is shown by 
the census of 1904. In that year in Transkei, Tembuland, 
Griqualand East, and Pondoland, including Port St. John's, 
there were sixteen thousand seven hundred and seventy- 
seven Europeans and eight hundred and seventeen thou- 
sand eight hundred and sixty-seven Bantu and other 
coloured people. 

Note. — There are indications that the rate of increase of the Bantu 
will not be so high in the future, owing to several circumstances. 
1. Consumption has become common among the coast tribes, and syphilis 
is alarmingly prevalent among the Betsh ana. 2. As areas become 
overcrowded, many young men are compel! 3d to leave them and seek 
service as labourers for Europeans until they earn sufficient to make a 
fair beginning at their own homes, there being no longer ground available 
on which swarms can settle. 3. Acquirement of new wants, and as a 
consequence increase of care. 4. A system of giving credit by traders, 
under which the larger number of the men are involved in debt and 
difficulties. 5. The system of education in the great majority of the 
schools, under which many youths of both sexes are taught solely from 
books, and are really incapacitated from earning a living by honest in- 
dustry, thus becoming discontented and often morose. The whole may 
perhaps be summed up as the change that the Bantu are undergoing 
in becoming adapted to their new environment. 


THE COLONY OF NATAL, 1873 to 1878. 

Anthony Musgrave, Esqre., C.M.G., Lieutenant-Governor, retired 30th of 

April 1873. 

Lieutenant-Colonel T. Milles, Acting Administrator, 30th of April to 22nd 

op July 1873. 

Sir Benjamin Chilley Campbell Pine, Lieutenant-Governor, assumed duty 
22nd of July 1873, retired 1st of April 1875. 

Major-General Sir Garnet Wolseley, Administrator, assumed duty 1st of 
April, and retired 3rd of September 1875. 

Sir Henry Ernest Bulwer, Lieutenant-Governor, assumed duty 3rd of 

September 1875. 

Mr. Musgrave's term of office as lieutenant-governor 
of Natal was very short. Having been appointed governor 
of South Australia, on the ' 30th of April 1873 he left 
Maritzburg, when Lieutenant-Colonel Milles, of the 75th 
regiment, the senior military officer in the colony, became 
acting administrator. On the 22nd of July in the same 
year Sir Benjamin Pine, who had been head of the govern- 
ment once before — 1850 to 1855 — arrived and took the 
oaths of office as lieutenant-governor. He saw changes in 
the colony of course, especially in Durban and Maritz- 
burg, and the sugar plantations along the coast and the 
Indian labourers were new to him, still the progress of the 
colony in most respects had been far less than might 
reasonably have been expected of a country so richly 
endowed by nature. What was wanting to make it 
advance as other British possessions were advancing was 
European immigrants in large numbers and European 
capital, but neither one nor the other was attracted to 
a land so largely occupied by barbarians, and with a 

2J 4 


l8 73j Condition of the Bantu Population. 225 

powerful barbarian military state on its border ever 
menacing the security of life and property. 

In 1873 the legislative council was enlarged by the 
addition of one official and three representative members. 
The county of Newcastle, previously a division of Klip 
Kiver county, was formed into a separate electoral 
division, with the right of returning one member to the 
council. To the united counties of Alexandra and Alfred 
was given the right of electing one, and the county of 
Victoria had an additional member assigned to it. The 
whole number of elected members was thus brought up 
to fifteen. The official element was increased by a seat 
being assigned to the protector of Indian immigrants, in 
order that the interests of these people might be care- 
fully guarded. 

At this time it was considered advisable that, as in 
the Cape Colony, the government should possess the tele- 
graphs, which should be controlled and worked by the 
state like the letter and parcel post. There was then 
only one line in Natal, from Durban to Maritzburg, and as 
it was not paying the cost of its maintenance, the com- 
pany that owned it was glad to sell it at any price. In 
August 1873, .£650 was offered and accepted, and the 
government took over the line, with a view to adding 
largely to it. It was soon lengthened in different direc- 
tions, and on the 19th of April 1878 direct telegraphic 
communication was opened between Durban and Cape- 
town, by way of Maritzburg, Kokstad, Umtata, and 

For fifteen years the Bantu in. Natal had remained 
quiet, giving no trouble by disturbing the peace, but in- 
creasing in number at a marvellous rate, when in 1873 
an incident which had serious consequences occurred. 

The system of dealing with these people in Natal 
differed from that of the Cape Colony, owing to the 
Europeans being too few in number to exercise any 
control over them that was not entirely in accordance 


226 History of Natal. [1873 

with their wishes. They lived under the immediate 
government of their chiefs, and preserved their own 
laws and customs intact, except that public punishment 
for dealing in witchcraft was prohibited. The few magis- 
trates stationed with them were of greater use in keeping 
watch over their actions than in exercising jurisdiction, 
for there was not sufficient power at their command to 
enable them to act efficiently. The Europeans in Natal 
in 1873 were only eighteen thousand in number, and it 
was estimated that there were fully two hundred and 
eighty thousand Bantu, thus there were more than fifteen 
times as many black men as white. Under these circum- 
stances, no other policy than the one carried out was 
possible, unless Great Britain chose to maintain a large 
military force in the country. 

This system did not tend to promote civilisation among 
the Bantu. In the locations they passed their lives in 
idleness, leaving the cultivation of the ground to the 
women just as in days of old, and only exerting them- 
selves for a little when the time for paying the yearly 
tax came round. They were at liberty to indulge in all 
the vile habits of heathenism, without hindrance from 
the government. This freedom from restraint, added to 
the security which they enjoyed, caused Natal to be 
regarded as a happy land by the Bantu all over South 
Africa, and was the cause of the migrations into it. At 
first the constant influx of refugees was regarded with 
favour by the European settlers, for it was held to be 
good policy to build up on the soil a black power 
strong enough to keep the Zulu nation beyond the border 
in check. No danger was apprehended from t{ie refugees 
themselves, as it was supposed they would be faithful 
to the country which gave them shelter, and that the 
different clans migjit, in case of necessity, be pitted 
against each other. This was considered the chief 
security of the Natal government, the only means of 
maintaining its authority. 

i 8 73] Rebellion of Langalibalele. 227 

The locations remained so secluded that even roads 
were not made through many of them. The reclamation 
of the people from barbarism, for their own good as 
well as that of the European colonists, was necessarily 
left to the efforts of missionaries supported from abroad. 
A small section of the people was improved by this 
agency, but the great majority of a new generation grew 
up as ignorant as their fathers, and without that feeling 
of dependence for safety upon the white man that had 
kept the early incomers in restraint. Eestrictions to 
which the first refugees would have submitted readily 
could not be imposed upon their children. Yet the govern- 
ment asserted that in few parts of the world was life 
or property safer than in Natal, and a European could 
traverse the country unarmed from end to end, without 
danger of being molested. 

So matters remained until 1873. The young men who 
had grown up in barbarism under the shelter of the 
Natal government were unacquainted with the wars of 
former days, and a combination of the different clans 
was within the compass of possibility. An imprudent 
law, which imposed a fee of <£5 on every marriage — thus 
practically encouraging polygamy, as it increased the 
difficulty of obtaining even one wife by the very poor, 
while it left to the rich the power of acquiring as many 
as they chose — created much disaffection, not on account 
of the immorality to which it so directly led, but owing 
to the money payment. By many of the Bantu the 
white man began to be considered as seeking only their 
labour in his service and their money for his under- 
takings. An event then occurred which exposed the 
peril in which the colonists were living. 

It has been mentioned that a section of the Hlubi tribe 
fled from Zululand in 1848, and had a location assigned 
to it at the sources of the Bushman's river in Natal. 
Its chief, Langalibalele (The sun is scorching) by name, 
then a young man, was without much ability, but was 

228 History of Natal. L l8 73 

regarded by the Bantu of Zululand and Natal as the 
most powerful rainmaker in the whole country. In 
that capacity he had acquired considerable wealth in 
cattle, most of which he lost in his flight into Natal, but 
in his new home he had prospered, and become rich 
again. Panda sent him a message that if he made a 
ladder reaching to the sky, it would not save him, but 
Panda knew his own interest too well to attack any 
one under British protection, and wisely did not attempt 
to carry out the threat. 

Langalibalele, like many other Bantu chiefs, was ad- 
dicted to intemperance. His clan acquired the reputa- 
tion of being restless, but his location was so secluded 
that very little was positively known by the colonists of 
him or his people. After the discovery of the diamond 
fields his young men, in common with others in all 
parts of South Africa, were attracted to them by the 
facility with which guns could be obtained there in ex- 
change for labour. One of the laws of Natal, intended 
as a measure of security, was that no one might possess 
a gun without its being registered. Accordingly the 
chief was called upon to account for the guns his 
young men had brought back with them, but he declined 
to do so. Message after message was sent, requiring 
him to appear at Maritzburg, but he made excuses and 
never went. Meanwhile Mr. Shepstone, the secretary 
for native affairs, left Natal for a short time on an ex- 
pedition to Zululand to perform the ceremony of crown- 
ing Ketshwayo as king of that country, and Langaliba- 
lele and his guns were neglected for a season. But upon 
the return of the expedition, a messenger was sent again 
to the Hlubi chief, and was on this occasion treated with 

Langalibalele was already preparing to rebel. He had 
entered into communication with the Basuto chief 
Molapo, among whose retainers were many Hlubis who 
had settled in Basutoland after the defeat and death of 

l8 73] Rebellion of Langalibalele. 229 

Umpangazita in 1827, and he expected to obtain from 
that chief a refuge under any circumstances, and most 
likely active aid. Nothing more was known at the time, 
but at a later date it was ascertained that he had 
been plotting in other directions. His family was a 
very large one, and numerous near relatives were dis- 
persed throughout the country. One brother was at the 
head of a clan in Griqualand East. From him assis- 
tance was expected, and the Hlubi chief most likely 
thought that he would have active sympathy from the 
Fingos on the frontier of the Cape Colony. He 
reckoned further on the cooperation of clans with whom 
he had been plotting in Natal, so that, with his want of 
knowledge of the resources of the government, his 
position must have appeared to himself to have been 
a strong one. 

Peaceable means having failed to secure the obedience 
of the chief, an armed party was sent to enforce the 
demand of the government. Upon its approach, Langa- 
libalele left the women, children, old men, and some 
of his warriors to protect them, and with his cattle he 
and the young men fled by way of the Bushman's pass 
over the Drakensberg towards Basutoland. On learning 
this, the armed party, consisting of mounted volunteers 
under the command of Major Durnford, of the royal 
engineers, pushed on as fast as they could up the 
Giant's Castle pass and then along the crest of the 
mountains to the top of the Bushman's pass to inter- 
cept the fugitives. They arrived there after the chief 
and his attendants had gone on, but before the cattle 
and the men with them had quite reached the summit. 
Men and horses were much fatigued, but still fit for 
duty. The volunteers had orders not to fire first, and 
Major Durnford, who wished to communicate with the 
chief, requested Mabuhle, the principal man with the 
cattle, to send for him. A pretence was made of doing 
so, and while the volunteers were waiting the Hlubi 

230 History of Natal. [1873 

warriors were taking up commanding positions behind 
rocks on one side of them. At the same time threaten- 
ing gestures and language, coupled with taunts, were 
used towards them. This naturally caused much un- 
easiness, especially among the younger men. Major 
Durnford ordered them to fall back to a better position, 
but before they could do so, the Hlubis opened fire on 
them, and three young volunteers, by name Erskine, 
Bond, and Potterill, — the first named a son of the 
colonial secretary, — the interpreter Elijah Kambula, and 
another black man fell dead. 

The volunteers were then seized with panic, and rode 
away as fast as they could towards the pass by which 
they had ascended. Major Durnford tried to rally them, 
but his efforts were frustrated by the exclamations and 
cowardly conduct of Sergeant Clarke, their drill instructor, 
who was with the party. It was only when they reached 
the bottom of the pass that order was restored. 

The colonists at once awoke to a sense of their 
danger. They were living among at least fifteen times 
their own number of Bantu, and they did not know 
how far the inclination to rebel extended. Of one thing 
they were assured : that nothing but the prompt punish- 
ment of the Hlubi clan would prevent all who were 
disaffected from rising in arms. Volunteers at once came 
forward, Bantu belonging to clans hostile to the Hlubis 
were enrolled, and a strong pursuing party was organised. 
All the Europeans in South Africa took a personal 
interest in the matter. Mr. J. M. Orpen, British resident 
in Griqualand East, collected a strong force to prevent 
the advance of the rebels in that direction, and as soon 
as he ascertained that they were on the way to Basuto- 
land, he crossed the mountains to assist in operations 
against them. The Cape government forwarded detach- 
ments of the frontier armed and mounted police to 
Basutoland and Griqualand East, and Lieutenant-General 
Cunynghame sent the eighty-sixth regiment from Cape 

l8 73] Rebellion of Langalibalele. 231 

town to Durban. The diggers at the diamond-fields 
tendered assistance, and the governments of the Orange 
Free State and the South African Kepublic were ready to 
aid in the emergency. Everyone saw that it was not 
the peace of Natal only, but of all South Africa that 
was imperilled. Once let other tribes join the Amahlubi, 
and a general war was inevitable. 

The neighbouring clan of the Amangwe, numbering 
some five thousand souls, under the chief Putili, was 
suspected of being in league with the rebels. The evi- 
dence against it was deemed conclusive by Sir Benjamin 
Pine, the supreme chief, and under his orders the location 
was surrounded by a body of obedient Bantu and a few 
volunteers, when the chief and his counsellors were 
arrested, the clan was disarmed and broken up, and six 
thousand head of cattle, with a few horses, sheep, and 
goats, were seized. There being no absolute proof of their 
guilt, though the circumstantial evidence was strong 
against them, the treatment the Amangwe received was 
not in accordance with English ideas of justice or with 
the usual conduct of the colonists and the government 
towards the Bantu. It can only be attributed to the 
abnormal state of feeling produced by the presence of 
great and sudden danger, or, which amounts to the same 
thing, what was believed at the time to be such. The 
lieutenant-governor himself must have felt that severity 
like this was only warrantable under extreme circum- 
stances, for as soon as the disturbance was quelled, he 
permitted the Amangwe to return to their location, but 
placed them under the charge of a European magistrate, 
leaving the chief and his family in obscurity. 

The pursuing forces from Natal consisted of eighty 
European volunteers and fifteen hundred obedient Bantu, 
in two columns, under Captains Allison and Hawkins. 
One column went towards G-riqualand East, the other 
searched among the mountains above the Bushman's pass, 
as the direction in which Langalibalele had gone was 

232 History of Natal. b%13 

still unknown. After several days spent fruitlessly, the 
two columns effected a junction on the head waters of 
the Orange, and struck the trail of the rebels leading to 
Leribe, Molapo's kraal. 

During this time the excitement of the Natal colonists 
was naturally very strong, and some excesses were com- 
mitted which are to be deplored. In a time of extreme 
danger, when men's utmost energies are devoted to self- 
preservation, acts are frequently committed that are 
afterwards keenly regretted, by the perpetrators them- 
selves. The employment of large numbers of uncivilised 
Bantu, — men whose passions when once aroused cannot 
be easily restrained, and who look upon plunder as the 
object of war, — must always be attended with deeds of 
violence. It was so in this instance, though happily to 
a very limited extent. The warriors of the Hlubi clan 
that had been left behind by the chief had retired with 
the women and children to fastnesses in the mountains, 
so a large force, principally consisting of obedient Bantu, 
but with some imperial troops and colonial volunteers, 
accompanied by the secretary for native affairs, was sent 
to dislodge them. Some of them submitted, but others 
made a stout resistance, and before all were captured it 
was believed that from one hundred and fifty to two 
hundred lost their lives. The women and children, who 
were then without property of any kind, were sent to 
the lower parts of the colony, and were indentured as 
paupers to colonists for a period of three years, but as 
soon as the excitement was over they were released and 
permitted to disperse among other clans. 

If there was any inclination on the part of the Basuto 
chiefs to aid Langalibalele, it disappeared when the Cape 
frontier armed and mounted police arrived, and Mr. C. D. 
Griffith, the governor's agent, called upon them to assist 
him. Lerothodi, great son of the paramount chief Letsie, 
joined the police at once. Molapo, with his sons 
Ebthan and Joel, sided with the government and 

lg 74] Rebellion of Langalibalele. 233 

arrayed the clan against the rebels, who were now 
hemmed in on all sides. On the 11th of December 
1873 Langalibalele and his body-guard of eighty-four Imen 
arrived at Leribe, and suffered themselves to be disarmed 
by the police, when the chief, five of his sons, and four 
of his principal men were made prisoners, and the others 
were permitted to disperse among the Basuto villages. 
On the following day two hundred more quietly sur- 
rendered to Mr. Griffith, on condition that their lives 
should be spared, but the main body took up a strong 
position in the mountains, and prepared to defend them- 
selves. They were then attacked by the police, and after 
losing ten men were compelled to disperse. Their cattle 
were seized, and of these two thousand were distributed 
among the Basuto as a reward for their assistance and 
the remainder were handed over to Captains Allison and 
Hawkins, who arrived on the 13th. Mr. Orpen with the 
forces he had raised in Griqualand East and two hundred 
of the Cape frontier armed and mounted police from that 
territory did not reach Molapo's kraal till ten days after 
the surrender, and therefore, though their exertions had 
been most commendable, they received no share of the 
captured stock. The prisoners were delivered to the Natal 
officers, who took back with them about five thousand 
head of horned cattle, exclusive of calves, two hundred 
and seventy horses, and one hundred and forty guns, 
surrendered by the rebels. 

Langalibalele and the other prisoners were not tried 
according to the rules of an English court of justice. 
An extraordinary court was created for the purpose, con- 
sisting of the lieutenant-governor, in his capacity of 
supreme chief of the Bantu in Natal, as president, the 
secretary for native affairs, three European magistrates, 
three Bantu chiefs, and four Bantu officials under govern- 
ment. The prisoners were tried according to Bantu law, 
and were not permitted to have counsel. Such a court 
was ill qualified to secure respect by Europeans for its 


History of Natal. t l8 74 

decisions, for the Bantu members could not be supposed 
to act impartially, and it is not surprising that persons 
abroad called in question the justice of the treatment 
the Hlubi clan received, basing their knowledge and their 
opinions on the fact that the principal prisoner was 
condemned before being tried, for the president of the 
court was the same governor who had previously out- 
lawed him and offered a hundred head of cattle for his 
capture. Langalibalele's crime was notorious, and no one 
who knew how nearly he brought about a general war 
could maintain that he did not deserve punishment, but 
it would have been more satisfactory if he had received 
a fair trial by unbiassed judges. Before the court he 
admitted the truth of the most serious charges against 
him, but assumed throughout an appearance of stolid 
indifference to what was going on. 

The trial commenced on the 16th of January 1874, 
and judgment was delivered on the 9th of the following 
month. The principal prisoner was sentenced to confine- 
ment and banishment for life, but at the time Natal had 
no place to banish him to. Application was therefore 
made to the Cape government, and in the session of 
1874 the parliament of that colony passed an act 
authorising the imprisonment on Robben Island of him 
and his son Malambule, who was sentenced to banish- 
ment for five years. To Robben Island they were 
conveyed accordingly. The Hlubi clan was completely 
broken up, and the ground it had occupied was resumed 
by the government. 

The details of these occurrences were published in 
England, and as it happened to be a time when nothing 
of an exciting nature was taking place in Europe, a 
large amount of attention was bestowed upon Natal. 
The ease with which the rebellion had been suppressed 
caused many to think that the danger had really not 
been so great as represented. An influential and power- 
ful philanthropic society at once condemned the action of 

l8 75j Rebellion of Langalibalele. 235 

Lieutenant-Governor Pine and the colonists as unneces- 
sarily severe, and the principal organs of the press took 
the same view. Bishop Colenso, the champion of the 
Bantu under all circumstances, after doing whatever was 
possible in Natal to get the sentence against the chief 
quashed, went to England to plead with the secretary 
of state, and published a huge pamphlet on the case, 
which was largely circulated, and in which all the 
defects in the trial were exhibited. It was quite useless 
for the Natal clergy, seventy-four ministers and mission- 
aries of various denominations, to forward a counter 
statement, or for the South African press, with hardly 
an exception, to approve generally of the course that had 
been pursued in stamping out the rebellion in its infancy : 
public opinion in Great Britain once formed was not to 
be changed. 

It was assumed that Langalibalele could only have been 
running away through fear, and that he could have had 
no intention of returning after his cattle were placed in 
safety. All the circumstances of the case, the previous 
plotting, the refusal of the Hlubi chief to appear before 
a magistrate, the overt act of rebellion in firing upon 
and killing five men at the Bushman's pass, the final 
stand made in Basutoland by the main body of the in- 
surgents, these and other proofs of guilt were simply 
ignored, or, if admitted, were attributed to the fear which 
the clan entertained of the colonists. It was considered 
absurd to suppose that Langalibalele meant to rebel, for 
what could he gain by such a course ? That a barbarous 
chief should take up arms through caprice, or passion, 
or a mere spirit of restlessness, without ever perhaps 
weighing the likelihood of success, or enquiring about the 
strength of his adversary, seemed incomprehensible. 

In December 1874 a despatch from the secretary of 
state for the colonies was forwarded to South Africa, 
in which he announced that Sir Benjamin Pine would be 
relieved of office immediately, that Langalibalele and his 

236 History of Natal. [1875 

son must be removed from Robben Island, and that com- 
pensation must be made to the Amangwe for the losses 
they had sustained. Nearly two hundred Hlubis, includ- 
ing several sons of the chief, had been sentenced to 
various terms of imprisonment, and their punishments 
were to be mitigated. Otherwise, the despatch was 
written in a friendly tone, and the colonists were exoner- 
ated from the charge of cruelty. It contained the 
important announcement that the secretary of state con- 
templated a great reform in the policy to be pursued 
towards the Bantu, such a reform as would gradually 
replace barbarism by civilisation. Nothing could be more 
in accordance with the wishes of the colonists than such 
a change. But the removal of the governor in the 
manner indicated— though he had frequently expressed a 
wish to retire on account of ill health, and this was re- 
ferred to by Lord Carnarvon — called forth warm sympathy 
with the man whose energetic action in the hour of 
peril, it was believed, had saved South Africa from a 
general war. 

With regard to the removal of Langalibalele and his 
son from Eobben Island, there was some difficulty. They 
could not be taken back to Natal without great danger 
to the peace, and they could not be released in the Cape 
Colony, because in such a case they would certainly make 
their way to the eastern frontier and cause unrest among 
the Fingos there, the greater number of whom were 
Hlubis by descent. Lord Carnarvon desired that they 
should be treated as if they were state prisoners, and be 
kept under surveillance in the Cape Colony, and in 
accordance with his wish Mr. Molteno introduced a bill 
in the session of the Cape parliament of 1875 to remove 
them to the mainland. This bill met with strong oppo- 
sition, as many members thought it would establish a 
vicious precedent to treat such a malefactor as Langali- 
balele with inconsiderate clemency, and it would not 
have been carried if Mr. Molteno, who was desirous of 

l8 75] Rebellion of Langalibalele. 237 

doing everything in his power that was reasonable to 
serve the mother country, had not declared that he would 
resign if it was rejected. It was then carried, and a 
small farm named Uitvlugt near Mowbray in the Cape 
peninsula having been acquired, on the 26th of August 
1875 the two prisoners were removed to it. 

There at the cost of the Natal treasury they were 
provided with ample food, clothing, and everything else 
that was needed to make them comfortable, they had 
nothing to do, but could roam about the grounds and eat 
and sleep to their hearts' content. In February 1876 
one of Langalibalele's wives and two of his personal 
friends were permitted to join him, and subsequently 
several others were allowed to come from Natal and live 
with him, so that he did not pine for company. Even 
some cows were given to him, in which he seemed to 
take more interest than in anything else. Only one 
article that he wished to have was not supplied to him, 
and that was strong drink of some kind or other. 

Malambule was of course liberated at the expiration of 
the term of his sentence, but his father remained at 
Uitvlugt for nearly twelve years, it can hardly be said 
as a prisoner except that he was not allowed to wander 
beyond the boundaries of the farm. It was at length 
considered that he could not do any harm in Natal, as 
he was becoming feeble in body and imbecile in mind, 
and he was allowed to return. On the 22nd of April 
1887 he and his family, then numbering five adults and 
four children, were placed on board the coasting steamer 
Melrose, and left Table Bay. A residence was assigned 
to him in the Zwartkops location, where he was placed 
under the care of the chief Teteleku, who had instructions 
to prevent the scattered Hlubis from collecting about him 
and not to allow him to exercise power as a chief. 

Major-General Sir Garnet Wolseley, the most cele- 
brated British soldier of his day, was selected by Lord 
Carnarvon to act temporarily as administrator of Natal 

238 History of Natal. [1875 

and to effect the changes there that had been determined 
upon. Accompanied by a brilliant staff, consisting of 
Lieutenant-Colonel George Pomeroy Colley, Major Bracken- 
bury, Major W. F. Butler, Captain Lord Gifford, and Mr. 
Frederick Napier Broome, who had been appointed colonial 
secretary in succession to Major Erskine, he reached 
Durban on the 29th of March 1875, and on the 1st of 
April took the oaths of office at Maritzburg. Sir Ben- 
jamin Pine left at once for Capetown, where he embarked 
for England on the 10th of April, having as a fellow- 
passenger in the mail steamer President Burgers of the 
Transvaal. Major Erskine had gone home in April 1874. 
Colonel Colley now became acting treasurer of Natal, and 
Lord Gifford acting protector of Indian immigrants, so 
that the official members of the legislative council were 
mostly new men. 

In the session of the council in 1874 there had been 
some talk of annexation to the Cape Colony,, as the 
simplest means of relief from the tremendous responsi- 
bility of preserving peace .in a population of fifteen 
barbarians to one civilised man, but many of the members 
believed that if they could manage affairs in their own 
way without control from oversea, they could get along 
well enough, and a vote in favour of responsible govern* 
ment was carried by a majority of the elected members. 
It might be thought that in a country so sparsely in- 
habited by Europeans as Natal, and where a constant 
pressure was maintained by the official element, there 
would be no room for the formation of antagonistic 
parties. Unfortunately it was otherwise. Between the 
coastlands and the up-country districts a spirit of jealousy 
existed, which on more than one occasion destroyed har- 
mony in the council chamber. On this occasion the two 
lions of the colony were arrayed against each other. 
The upland members carried the measure unanimously, 
but only after the coast members had left the chamber 
and the president had ruled that the official members 

l8 75] Great Change in the Legislative Council. 239 

could not vote on the question, as they would be person- 
ally affected by it. The resolution thus carried, however, 
had no result, for after a time came the decision of the 
secretary of state, which was to the effect that responsible 
government could not be conceded. The authorities in 
England were unwilling to subject the Bantu population 
to the government of a party consisting of a majority 
in a constituency of eighteen thousand colonists. 

And now in 1875 a change in the opposite direction 
was desired by the secretary of state. His principal 
object in sending out as administrator an officer of Sir 
Garnet Wolseley's standing was to obtain the consent 
of the colonists to the virtual annulment of the charter, 
as changes in the policy to be pursued towards the Bantu 
were resolved upon at the colonial office, and it was con- 
sidered advisable to make sure of no opposition on the 
part of the local legislature. There was really no reason 
to apprehend resistance to any measure calculated to 
improve the condition of the Bantu, for the colonists 
and their representatives had always been desirous of the 
advancement of these people in civilisation. There 
might be obstruction in other matters, but not in this. 
The power of the crown too in the legislature of Natal 
was already sufficient to secure the approval of any 
reasonable measure that might be proposed, even if the 
colonists had not been so thoroughly at one as they were 
in desiring to raise their swarthy neighbours out of the 
slough of barbarism. Not only could the secretary of 
state or the governor disallow any bill, but of the twenty 
members of the council, five were officials who received 
their appointments from the colonial office, and whose 
only choice was to vote as directed or to resign their 
situations. Whenever the votes of six out of the fifteen 
elected members could be secured, there was a majority 
for the government, and it may safely be said that any 
policy for which that proportion of votes could not be 
obtained must have been unjust or dangerous, Lord 

240 History of Natal. L l8 75 

Carnarvon, however, thought differently, and so another 
change in the council was made. 

Theoretically the sovereign has the power of altering, 
amending, or annulling such charters as those of Natal, 
but in practice the power of annulling them is never 
exercised. The usual course is to obtain by some means 
the consent of the legislature to its own extinction, and 
for such a purpose no abler man than Sir Garnet Wolse- 
ley could have been selected. In him great ability was 
united with winning manners and a rare power of 
leading men. He had the reputation of being a skilful 
diplomatist as well as a skilful general. The colonists 
felt that their country was considered of some importance 
when such a man was sent to be its head, they saw 
Natal noticed at length in the leading English periodicals, 
and they were persuaded that a strong garrison, so much 
needed, as in January 1874 the eighty-sixth regiment had 
gone back to Capetown, would be provided to protect 
them. The administrator made a tour through the 
colony, — it was as much like a triumphal march as the 
scattered Europeans could cause it to be, — pleasant 
words were spoken everywhere, addresses of welcome 
were presented, and flattering replies were made. , 

After this preparation the legislative council was 
summoned to meet on the 5th of May, and the bill 
which was to deprive it of power was introduced. It 
proposed to add ten nominated members, so as to secure 
fifteen always for the government against the same 
number of representatives of the people, but as the 
president was to be an elected member, the government 
would have a clear majority at all times. There was a 
party in Natal that would have preferred to do away 
with a council altogether, and thus throw the whole 
'onsibility of government upon the secretary of state, 
rather than accept the bill in the form in which it was 
introduced. It was seen at once that the elected 
members would never agree to it as it then stood, but 

l8 75] Great Change in the Legislative Council. 241 

many of them admitted that a strong government was 
not only desirable, but absolutely necessary to the pros- 
perity of the country. 

The chief reason assigned by the executive in favour 
of the measure proposed was that it would enable them 
without any obstruction to reform the policy regarding 
the Bantu. The strangest feature in the debate was this 
plea, for the alteration in the mode of dealing with the 
Bantu now desired by the imperial authorities was pre- 
cisely such as the elected members of the colonial 
legislature had been for years fruitlessly endeavouring to 

After a warm discussion, the bill was read a second 
time, and then a compromise was effected. In committee 
such alterations were made as to give the government 
power to accomplish what it professed to be so anxious 
to do, and yet so as not to deprive the colonists of the 
benefit of representation. The ten nominee members pro- 
posed were reduced to eight, who were not to be office 
holders, and who were to be possessed of fixed property 
in the country to the value of £1,000, and also to have 
resided in Natal for at least two years. The colonists 
were to some extent protected by a clause providing 
that no new tax should be laid on them without the 
consent of two-thirds of the members present at the 
time of its being put to the vote. Finally, the duration 
of the bill was limited to five years. Thus modified, it 
was read for the third time on the 31st of May, and 
carried by the five official and five representative votes, 
against the Votes of seven elected members. The coast 
members voted for it, and all the up-country members 
except one against it. The secretary of state gave his 
consent, and it became the law of Natal. Thus the colony 
presented the rare spectacle among the dependencies of 
Great Britain of having its political privileges much reduced. 

Having secured the preponderance of the executive in 
the council, Sir Garnet Wolseley's principal task was 


242 History of Natal. [1875 

accomplished, but he remained in the colony until the 
3rd of September, preparing the bills which his successor 
would introduce in the next session, appointing the new 
members, and making himself acquainted with the con- 
dition of the country generally, that he might be able 
to give information to the secretary of state. The 
council was prorogued until the 30th of September, 
when it was opened by Lieutenant-Governor Sir Henry 
Bulwer, and it continued in session until the 18th of 

Sir Garnet Wolseley assessed the compensation to the 
Amangwe at £12,000, which he proposed should be paid 
to them in useful articles, at the rate of £3,000 a year 
for four years. To this Lord Carnarvon gave his consent, 
and the council voted the money. It was used principally 
in the purchase of blankets, agricultural implements, and 
cattle. Individual cases of distress among the Hlubis 
were also relieved by means of money voted by the 

To bring the administration of justice among the 
Bantu in Natal into line with that in civilised countries, 
and thus provide against such irregular proceedings as 
those adopted in Langalibalele's case, by Act 26 of 1875 a 
tribunal termed the Native High Court was created. It 
was to be presided over by a properly qualified judge, 
and was empowered to adjudicate in all civil cases, 
whatever the amount in dispute, though if that 
was over £50 there was a right of appeal to the 
supreme court, and to try certain classes of criminal 
cases, but it could not pronounce the death sentence, 
which was reserved for the supreme court. It was also 
made a court of appeal from the decisions of the 
magistrates in charge of different parts of the country. 
As the Bantu were not sufficiently advanced towards 
civilisation to be made subject to English or Koman- 
Dutch law, this court was required to adjudicate in 
accordance with Bantu law, and to prevent any ir- 

lg 75] Improved Treatment of the Bantu. 243 

regularities that might arise from different interpretations 
of the customs and traditions of the various clans, which 
were not always similar, it was provided that this law 
should be codified. 

A commission, consisting of men thoroughly competent 
to ascertain what the customs which took the place of 
laws among the clans were, to compare them carefully, 
so as to select those which agreed and to form the best 
compromise between those that varied, was thereupon 
appointed, but as the enquiries took much time, the 
code was not drawn up until the 28th of February 
1878. It was a short, but convenient one, and it dealt 
amply with the marriage laws, which form the base of 
litigation in the great majority of cases between 
Bantu. In one particular, but in one only, the ordinary 
Bantu custom was rejected in this code. According to the 
practice of these people, the father or guardian of a girl 
has the right of giving her in marriage to any one he 
chooses, whether she is willing or not. She generally 
manages indeed to have her own way, but it sometimes 
happens that a wealthy old man casts his eye on a 
young girl, and obtains her guardian's assistance in 
compelling her by forcible means to become a member 
of his household. Bantu law permits this, as the , father 
or guardian is regarded as the only one whose consent 
is needed, but in the code it was required that the 
woman must in every case declare her willingness to the 
union publicly before the marriage ceremony could take 
place. Civilised men could not do less than this to pro- 
tect helpless females. This code remained the law of 
Natal until 1891, when an enlarged one took its place. 

In this session the fee of £5 on every marriage of 
Bantu was abolished, and that the revenue might not 
suffer by the loss of this item, the hut-tax was increased 
to fourteen shillings a year. 

These measures were unquestionably great improvements 
upon the old system of dealing with the Bantu in Natal, 


History of Natal. [ t8 75 

and together with the punishment inflicted upon the 
Hlubi clan for rebelling, had an excellent effect in 
maintaining tranquillity in the colony. 

It was evident to the colonists that the prosperity of 
Natal depended more upon its carrying trade than upon 
agricultural or pastoral pursuits, however rich the soil 
might be. The dream of Pieter Ketief and his com- 
panions, of living upon farms like those in the Cape 
Colony, could never be more than a dream now, except 
in the northern tongue of land where a few Dutch- 
speaking families still dwelt in the style of their ancestors. 
The influx of Bantu had put an end for ever to any 
prospect of farming in this way, though it might be 
possible still to cultivate small plots of ground in some 
places and to graze horned cattle and sheep in others. 
The colony could not be said to offer much inducement 
to people to settle on the land, but the position of 
Durban invited traffic with the interior, and pointed out 
a way of obtaining prosperity. To improve the harbour 
and to construct a line of railway inland thus became 
the desire of the colonists, because as sensible men they 
saw that ' it was feasible, while agricultural or cattle 
breeding on a large scale was not. 

For some time a project of railway construction, de- 
signed by a gentleman named Welborne, had been before 
the public, and in 1873 was agreed to by the govern- 
ment. Mr. Welborne proposed to form a company in 
England to construct a railroad from Durban through 
Maritzburg to Newcastle, with a branch from Ladysmith 
to Van Keenen's pass in the Drakensberg to tap the 
trade of the Orange Free State, another branch from a 
point not far from Durban some distance along the 
south coast, and still another from Durban northward 
to Verulam, in all three hundred and forty-five English 
mileB or five hundred and fifty-two kilometres. For this 
he was to receive two and a half million acres of crown 
land at a mere nominal perpetual rental and a subsidy 

l8 75] Construction of Railways. 245 

of £40,000 a year for twenty years, dating from the 
completion of the line, and in proportion as different 
sections were opened for traffic, besides a monopoly of 
certain mining privileges at Newcastle, where there were 
extensive coal-fields. It was a large scheme for a colony 
of only eighteen thousand European inhabitants, but it 
was anticipated, and with reason, that if it was carried 
out that number would soon be greatly increased. 

An attempt was made in London to form a company 
on this basis, but was unsuccessful, because the capitalists 
there would not take part in it unless the imperial 
government would guarantee a yearly return of five per 
cent upon the outlay, and this the secretary of state 
declined to do. Finally, on the 9th of December 1874, 
Lord Carnarvon refused to sanction the contract with 
Mr. Welborne, as in his opinion the colony could not 
afford to part with its waste lands in this manner, even 
though the company should be bound to introduce a few 
thousand European immigrants. He preferred that the 
government should construct some of the most important 
lines with capital borrowed in England, which there 
would be no difficulty in raising. So Mr. J. W. 
Welborne's project came to an end. 

In the session of the legislative council in 1875 the 
subject of the construction of railways by the govern- 
ment was fully discussed, and it was resolved to undertake 
the work and to contract loans for the purpose on 
security of the colonial revenue. The public debt was 
then already £331,600, or a little over £18 for each 
individual. This was increased by the close of 1877 to 
£1,231,100, and as the Europeans were then estimated 
to number 22,000, the debt in a little more than two years 
rose to £56 per individual, but on the other side there 
was a productive asset. There were at the beginning of 
1878 in the colony twelve thousand eight hundred and 
twenty-five Indians, two hundred and ninety thousand 
and thirty-five Bantu, and two thousand five hundred 

246 History of Natal. [1875 

mixed breeds of all kinds. These contributed to the 
revenue to some extent, but as the cost of maintaining 
order among them was little less than what was received 
from them, they cannot be taken into consideration in a 
matter such as the public debt. 

By the Act No. 6 of 1875 the government was autho- 
rised to purchase the existing line of railway from the 
Point to Durban from the company that owned it, and 
on the 1st of January 1877 this was done. £40,000 
was the sum paid for it. 

As a commencement of a main line, the government 
was empowered by Act 4 of 1875 to construct a railway 
with a gauge of forty-two inches from Durban to Maritz- 
burg, with a branch from a point four miles and a half 
or seven kilometres and a fifth from Durban southward 
to Isipingo, and one from the existing terminus at the 
Umgeni northward to Verulam. The secretary of state 
gave his approval to this, and on the 1st of January 
1876 the first sod was turned at Durban by Lieutenant- 
Governor Sir Henry Bulwer. The line was not con- 
structed as in the Cape Colony by a special department 
of the government, employing its own labourers, but a 
tender of Messrs. Wythes & Jackson, of London, was 
accepted, to provide the material of a specified quality 
and to do the work. As skilled labourers had to be 
brought from England, and much preliminary arrange- 
ment be carried out, the construction seemed to proceed 
very slowly at first, and it was not until the 9th of 
February 1878 that the first section, from Durban to 
Pinetown, was opened for traffic. Thereafter it 
advanced more rapidly. 

Of equal importance with the construction of railways 
was the improvement of the harbour, so that goods 
could be landed or shipped without difficulty. At that 
time ocean-going vessels lay at anchor in the open sea, 
and goods and passengers were conveyed to and from 
them m lighters towed by steam tugs. Sometimes the 

l8 7 8 ] Construction of an Excellent Harbour. 247 

bar was impassable for days, so that detention had to 
be considered as well as the danger and cost of transit 
in this manner. And there within sight was a capacious 
landlocked sheet of water, with only a shifting bar of 
sand between the Point and the Bluff, cutting it off 
from the outer anchorage. How to remove that bar and 
keep a deep channel open permanently was the question 
which, if solved successfully, would convert that sheet of 
water into an excellent harbour. 

Two plans to do this had been tried. The first had 
not advanced far enough to test its utility when it was 
stopped, aud Captain Vetch's plan was substituted for it. 
Upon this a large amount of money had been spent, but 
uselessly, for the bar remained as it was before. Then 
Sir John Coode visited the port, and after inspecting it 
carefully, in February 1878 reported that the bar could be 
removed and a safe harbour be made, accessible to lame 
ships, by reverting to the first plan. The main features 
of this were the construction of two piers to reduce the 
width of the entrance and cause a stronger current out- 
wards with the falling tide, and the deepening of the 
water on the bar by dredging and blasting. 

The government determined to carry out Sir John 
Coode's plan. It was expensive, but the result was all 
that could be desired, for in course of time a first-class 
harbour was formed, open to all the steamships that 
frequent the eastern seas. 

The construction of these works was the means of 
increasing the number of Europeans in the colony by 
several thousands. The system of immigration carried on 
by the government was to give to approved persons in 
Great Britain free passages, board and lodging for seven 
days after arrival, and thereafter employment on public 
works for those who could not in that time obtain more 
remunerative service. 



One of the first difficulties which President Burgers had 
to meet was the existence of the paper money in the 
Transvaal, which paralysed the trade of the country by 
reducing business transactions to the primitive system of 
barter. Taxes, when they were paid by the burghers, 
were almost invariably discharged in paper, so that very 
little coin found its way into the treasury, and public 
servants were naturally in a state of constant unrest, 
either not receiving their salaries at all or receiving 
them in currency not worth its face value. To remedy 
this, Mr. Burgers made a provisional arrangement for a 
loan with the Cape Commercial bank, and then called 
the volksraad together in special session. It met on the 
24th of February 1873, and the president had no difficulty 
in inducing it to ratify the transaction. The bank 
advanced the sum of £60,000 in gold with which to 
redeem the paper currency, for which it received deben- 
tures to the amount of £63,000, on which interest was 
payable at the rate of six per cent per annum. A 
sinking fund was provided for, by which £3,000 was to 
be set aside every year to pay off the principal, and as 
security a mortgage was given upon a large extent of 
public ground. This transaction seems a very small one 
to-day, but in 1873 it was regarded by many persons in 
South Africa as one of the greatest importance for the 
welfare of the Transvaal republic. 
At this time alluvial goldfields in the district of 

Lydenburg, discovered in the preceding year, were 

i 4 8 

1873] Opening of the Lydenburg Goldfields. 249 

attracting diggers not only from the Cape Colony and 
Natal, but from Australia and Scotland. Shortly some 
four or five hundred men were engaged searching for 
gold, a few of whom were successful, while some barely 
covered expenses, and others did not even do that. The 
metal was found in patches, and often ground adjoining 
rich spots yielded nothing. Food was scarce and exceed- 
ingly dear. The country was parched by a long drought, 
and wherever any grass remained, locusts appeared in 
swarms and devoured it. Eedwater in Natal was so 
destructive to horned cattle that transport riding almost 
ceased. An attempt was made to open a road to Delagoa 
Bay, the nearest seaport, but in addition to other 
obstacles, the tsetse fly prevented the use of oxen or 
horses on that route. The diggers were in many instances 
reduced to live almost solely upon beef and maize, which 
fortunately could be procured from the Bantu in the 

The president paid a visit to the goldfields, and was 
well received by the residents there. He made arrange- 
ment's for the maintenance of order by the appointment 
of an official termed the gold commissioner, who had 
extensive power conferred upon him. The diggers con- 
sented to pay monthly five shillings each for a licence, 
and they were to have two representatives in the volks- 
raad. These arrangements were ratified by the ,raad in 
its next ordinary, session, which was opened on the 
19th of May. The president found so many Scotchmen 
among the diggers that he jocularly named the place 
where they were then working Macmac, and the country 
around it New Caledonia. Soon after his visit a richer 
locality, about eight English miles or thirteen kilometres 
from Macmac, was discovered, which received the name 
Pilgrims' Best, and attracted the majority of the gold 
seekers. The president purchased a nugget which weighed 
a little over one hundred and nineteen ounces Troy, for 
which he paid £475, and had it coined in England in 

250 History of the Transvaal Republic. L l8 74 

pieces of the value of sovereigns. On one side of these 
was the coat of arms of the republic and on the reverse 
his own likeness. One was presented in the name of 
the republic to the head of every state that had 
acknowledged its independence, and one was given to 
every member of the existing volksraad. 

To this display of the president's vanity may be added 
another instance. He devised a new flag and coat of 
arms for the republic, and his persuasive power was so 
great that he induced the volksraad to accept them, but 
in the next session, when he was in Europe, they were 
discarded and the old ones were restored. 

In 1874 the first symptoms of distrust of Mr. Burgers 
were shown by the conservative and orthodox members 
of the volksraad. One of his warmest supporters and 
constant advisers was Mr. James Buchanan, the attorney- 
general, who had a seat in the executive council. He 
was a nephew of Mr. David Dale Buchanan, but did 
not share that gentleman's extreme views with regard to 
the rapacity of the Europeans in South Africa. The 
volksraad now resolved that the executive council should 
consist of the president, the state secretary, and three 
unofficial members appointed by itself. Thus Mr. Bucha- 
nan was excluded, and in his stead Mr. Paul Kruger, 
who in the preceding year had resigned the post of 
commandant -general, was chosen. 

The effect of the Keate award upon the Betshuana and 
Korana clans pronounced by it to be independent of the 
republic was to set them all at variance. Everything was 
in confusion and disorder among them, and white men 
were intriguing to gain some object or other, — usually 
large grants of land, — by fostering strife between the 
chiefs. Among them was Mr. David Arnot, the most 
advanced imperialist in South Africa, whose influence 
with some of the chiefs was all-powerful, and who was 
tag to bring about such a state of things that Great 
Britain would be compelled to take over the territory. 

1874] The Affair of Matthew Smith. 251 

Sir Henry Barkly had arranged with Mr. Burgers 
verbally to let the dispute stand over until matters 
should cool down, but he was now forced into a con- 
troversy again. There was living at Christiana a man 
named Matthew Smith, who kept a canteen and whose 
character was not of the best. This man put up a reed 
hut in a position that the landdrost objected to, and 
upon being requested to remove it refused to do so and 
set the landdrost at defiance. He was then arrested, 
though he made a stout resistance, and was committed 
to prison, when the hut, which was valued at £3, was 
burnt down. He broke out of the frail building that 
served as a prison without difficulty, and made his way 
to the diamond fields, w T here he complained to the 
authorities of having suffered wrongs in person and in 
property from Transvaal officials in territory beyond the 
border of the republic according to the Keate award. 
Nothing could have pleased those who desired the down- 
fall of the republic more, and the circumstance was magni- 
fied by them until it was made to appear as a wanton 
outrage by a boer official upon an innocent and unoffending 
Englishman on ground belonging to a Betshuana tribe. 

As Smith was a British subject, Sir Henry Barkly was 
compelled to act. In March 1874 he wrote to President 
Burgers demanding compensation to the injured man and 
the surrender of Mr. Best, the landdrost, to be tried for 
having imprisoned him. The president replied, refusing 
to comply, on the ground that the Keate award was 
illegal, and that even supposing the territory in which 
Christiana was situated to have belonged to the Koranas, 
the Batlapin, or the Barolong, it had become by cession 
part of the republic. He stated that on the 6th of 
December 1872 Massau Kiet Taaibosch, paramount chief 
of the Koranas, on the 1st of July 1873 Moshete, para- 
mount chief of the Barolong, and on the 11th of 
December 1873 Botlasitsi, paramount chief of the Batlapin, 
had ceded their territorial rights to him, and on the 

252 History of the Transvaal Republic. [1874 

11th of March 1874 he issued a proclamation that the 
rights so ceded were territorial rights of the South African 

If the president's argument had been sound there 
would have been no further correspondence on the 
subject, for it could not be disputed that the Koranas, 
the Barolong, and the Batlapin, with their dependents, 
were the only coloured occupants of the territory between 
the line of the Keate award and the Kalahari desert, 
from the Griqualand West border on the south to the 
Molopo river on the north. But the paramountcy of 
the chiefs named, though claimed by themselves from 
their being the highest in rank in the direct line of the 
ruling families, was not admitted by the other chiefs of 
clans into which the tribes had broken up, several of 
whom were more powerful than they, and under no 
circumstances could a paramount chief alienate territo- 
rial rights without the consent of his subordinates. Any 
one of them would be ready at any time to put his 
hand to a paper of any import, if he believed that by 
doing so he would gain assistance against a rival. 

Sir Henry . Barkly therefore refused to admit that the 
cessions from the chiefs named were of any value, and 
announced that he would adhere to the line of the Keate 
award. He demanded £300 as compensation for the 
damage sustained by Smith. 

At this stage the president was struck down by a severe 
illness, and for several months was confined to his bed 
and unable to transact business of any kind. 

While he was ill a despatch was prepared by Mr. 
Buchanan, the attorney-general, in reply to Sir Henry 
Barkly's letters of the 12th and 14th of March, which 
the president was unable to sign until the 31st of August, 
when it was forwarded to Capetown. It was of great 
ii, forming when printed an octavo pamphlet of one 
hundred and sixteen pages. The tone was anything but 
conciliatory, and the argument rested largely in asserting 

1874] Project of a Railway to Delagoa Bay. 253 

that the treatment of the Bantu and Koranas by the 
existing government of the republic was kinder and juster 
than the treatment of such people by the British authori- 
ties. The Keate award was again repudiated, and com- 
pensation to Smith was refused. 

On the 22nd of September and 28th of December 1874 
Sir Henry Barkly wrote at great length to the president 
again. He favoured Mankoroane as the paramount chief 
of the Batlapin, as being much more powerful than 
Botlasitsi, but he proposed that a joint commission should 
erect beacons along the line of the Keate award and 
obtain information concerning the Bantu tribes west of it. 
The matter was now allowed to drop out of sight, 
however, because Lord Carnarvon, secretary of state for 
the colonies, was desirous of forming a confederation of 
the South African colonies and republics under the British 
flag, and therefore wished to avoid anything that might 
increase the irritation prevalent in the Transvaal. 

In November 1874 the president brought before the 
volksraad a scheme for the construction of a railroad one 
hundred and twenty English miles or one hundred and 
ninety-two kilometres in length, with a gauge of thirty 
inches or seventy-six centimetres, from Klipstapel in the 
republic to Delagoa Bay. He pointed out that upon all 
goods entering the Transvaal from oversea customs duties 
were paid to Natal or the Cape Colony, without the inland 
state receiving any share of that money, and he expressed 
confidence that arrangements could be made with Portugal 
by which a considerable revenue would be derived from 
that source. Delagoa Bay, he said, was the natural port 
of the Transvaal, but it could not be made use of owing 
to the intervening land being infested by the tsetse fly, 
which prevented transport by cattle. If a railway was 
constructed goods could be brought in more easily than by 
the longer routes from Natal or Port Elizabeth, and could 
be sold at cheaper rates, to the advantage of every one 
in the republic. The wool and skins that were exported 

254 History of the Transvaal Republic. [1875 

would also realise higher prices, because the cost of 
carriage to the sea would be less. For a short time it 
would be necessary to pay a small tax, but for a short 
time only, because the railroad as soon as constructed 
would certainly pay for itself. He thought the Portuguese 
government would favour the project, and most likely 
would contribute half the cost of the line from the port 
to the Transvaal border. 

The eloquence of the president prevailed, and a majority 
of the members approved of the design. No survey of 
the route had been made, consequently the president's 
estimate of the cost of the road was mere conjecture, but 
he was authorised to proceed to Europe to make arrange- 
ments with Portugal and to contract a loan of the £300,000 
required. As security he was empowered to offer five 
hundred farms of three thousand morgen each and the 
proceeds of a special tax of £1 yearly on every burgher 
in the state. Mr. Pieter Jacobus Joubert, chairman of 
the volksraad, was chosen to act as president during the 
absence of Mr. Burgers on this mission. 

In March 1875 the president left Pretoria for this 
purpose. In Capetown he engaged Mr. J. T. Hall, the 
engineer who had constructed the Cape Copper Mining 
Company's line in Little Namaqualand, to survey the 
route inland from Delagoa Bay. On the 10th of April 
he embarked for Europe, taking with him specimens of 
gold, galena, cobalt, iron, coal, plumbago, tin, and copper, 
to be exhibited as proofs of the great mineral wealth of 
the country under his government. 

In Holland he was very well received. He spoke 
enthusiastically of the brilliant future of the republic, of 
its capability of supporting a vast number of inhabitants, 
and of offering a home to the surplus population of the 
Netherlands, who would find there men and women of 
their own blood anxious to welcome them, so that there 
might arise a great Dutch-speaking daughter Holland in 
that fair country over the sea. He engaged as super- 

1875] Project of a Railway to Delagoa Bay. 255 

intendent - general of education the reverend E. J. P. 
Jorissen, D.D., who on arriving in the Transvaal found 
nothing to superintend, and so became attorney-general in 
the place of Mr. James Buchanan, who resigned that 
office in November 1875. He engaged also several school- 
masters, who under other conditions would have been of 
much use. 

With the Portuguese government an arrangement was 
made, though not quite as favourable as Mr. Burgers had 
anticipated. The raising of the loan was entrusted by the 
president to Messrs. Insinger & Co., of Amsterdam, who 
were well qualified to transact such business. The terms 
offered by them were so tempting that any people less 
cautious than the Dutch would have applied for many 
times the whole amount as soon as it was announced, for 
the security seemed more than ample. But the money 
lenders of Amsterdam wanted to know more about the 
five hundred farms than their size, and they enquired 
particularly as to the certainty of the special railway tax 
being paid. The information supplied did not satisfy them, 
and though they wished all possible success to the republic, 
in a matter of business like this they were not prepared 
to furnish the gold required. Applications were then called 
for debentures of one thousand gulden or £83 6s. 8d. 
each, to which coupons of £2 Is. 8d. were attached, pay- 
able in Amsterdam every half year, on the 1st of January 
and the 1st of July. The price of a debenture was eight 
hundred and eighty gulden or £73 6s. 8d. The loan was 
to be repaid within twenty-five years, the particular 
debentures to be redeemed every year to be decided by 
lottery. On these terms the sum of £90,000 was obtained, 
with which a quantity of railway material was purchased 
in Belgium and sent to Delagoa Bay, and the president 
then returned to Pretoria, believing that if the railway 
was actually commenced, the money would be forthcoming 
in Holland to complete it. He reached the republic again 
after an absence of a little over twelve months. 

256 History of the Transvaal Republic. [ l8 75 

On landing in South Africa he was rudely awakened 
from his dream of a great progressive republic with millions 
of inhabitants of Netherlands blood, with railways and 
colleges and thriving industries to be raised on the foun- 
dation of a little state the majority of whose residents 
were entirely unprepared for these changes. The first 
information he received was that the Bapedi in the district 
of Lydenburg were in a state of active rebellion, and that 
a large number of farmers were getting ready to abandon 
the country. 

When he reached Pretoria this intelligence was con- 
firmed, and to add to the trouble he found an empty 
treasury and a large party opposing his measures. It would 
have been plain to any one else that the construction of 
a railway was then impossible, but in his enthusiasm he 
still persevered in his plan, and even resolved to alter the 
gauge from thirty to forty-two inches. And this at a 
time when the money obtained in Holland had all been 
expended in the purchase of material and the payment 
of freight, when there was nothing on hand to meet the 
first half year's interest, and when even the salary of the 
engineer, Mr. Hall, was in arrear and could not be paid. 

The conduct of the Bapedi tribe in the district of 
Lydenburg demanded immediate attention, for it was a 
matter that could not be postponed. 

The history of the Bapedi tribe is almost an exact 
counterpart of that of the Basuto. The territory it occu- 
pied had been invaded by sections of the Bakwena family, 
who had exterminated the aboriginal Bushmen and settled 
there in very recent times in several communities politi- 
cally independent of each other. The most important of 
these communities at the beginning of the nineteenth 
century was governed by a chief named Tulare, who stood 
in the same position towards the other rulers that Motlomi 
occupied towards those along the upper Caledon, that is, 
he was commonly regarded as wiser and abler than the 
others, but had no actual authority over them. During 

1876] Rebellion of the Bapedi under Sekukuni. 257 

the wars of Tshaka the land had more than once been 
overrun by hordes that his armies put in motion, when 
some of the tribes were entirely destroyed, and the others, 
greatly reduced in number, were broken up and obliged to 
flee, some to distant localities, others to almost impregnable 
retreats in the mountains, where they continued to exist 
in a precarious manner by hunting, gathering wild plants, 
and in some instances by cannibalism. 

Moselekatse caused great havoc among these people, but 
the most destructive of the invading hordes was that under 
Manikusa, now called the Matshangana, that occupied the 
territory for a considerable time, just as the Amangwane 
under Matiwane occupied Basutoland. There was not 
much that could be destroyed when they left, but after 
them came the Amaswazi, who gathered that little. The 
land was desolate when a petty chief named Sekwati, 
who was a son of Tulare by an inferior wife, returned 
from the distant locality beyond the Limpopo to which 
he had fled, and played exactly the same part that 
Moshesh performed in the south, though he had not a 
tithe of the ability of the great Mosuto. But his descent 
from the founder of the most important of the former 
tribes, whose name was Moperi (or Mopeli or Mopedi as 
pronounced by different sections of the Bakwena), gave 
him an advantage that Moshesh did not possess. He 
gathered some people together on a mountain stronghold, 
from which raiding parties could be sent to a distance to 
seek for spoil, and where they could rest in safety on 
their return. Here he was joined by refugees of many 
clans, who all adopted the name Bapedi, after the founder 
of Sekwati's family. 

Louis Triegard, the leader of the first party of emigrant 
farmers from the Cape Colony to the country north of 
the Vaal, made the acquaintance of Sekwati when he was 
trying to open a road from the Zoutpansberg to Delagoa 
Bay, and found him a chief of very little importance. But 
with the occupation of Lydenburg and Zoutpansberg by 


258 History of the Transvaal Republic. [1876 

the parties that acknowledged the leadership of Com- 
mandant Hendrik Potgieter, an opportunity was furnished 
to the little community to grow. The events connected 
with the intercourse of the Bapedi with these farmers 
have been related in other chapters, and it need only be 
said here that they accepted from the republic of Lyden- 
burg a location ten times as large as they needed at the 
time, where they could live in peace under the protection 
of the white men. It lay in the angle between the 
Steelpoort and Olifants rivers, and included the Lulu 
mountains. The chief acknowledged himself a vassal of 
the republic, but, in accordance with the general policy 
of the farmers, was not interfered with in the government 
of his people in their own way. 

In September 1861 Sekwati died, and was succeeded as 

head of the Bapedi by his son Sekukuni. The tribe grew 

rapidly in strength, not only by the amazing natural 

increase of the Bantu in time of peace, but by a constant 

influx of people from other parts of the country, some of 

whom were descendants of the remnants of tribes that had 

lived there before the wars of extermination and that had 

made their escape, and others were of alien, though Bantu, 

blood. All were made welcome that would acknowledge 

the Bapedi chief as their ruler, just as all who went to 

Basutoland were welcomed by Moshesh. The tribe was 

thus a composite one, though the great majority of its 

members were of Bakwena stock. In 1876 it was well 

provided with guns and ammunition, obtained by its young 

men at the diamond fields. Missionaries of the Berlin 

society had been labouring with the tribe, and had made 

many converts, but recently the chief had quarrelled with 

the reverend Mr. Nachtigal, and had expelled him and 

some others from the location. The reverend A. Merensky, 

the superintendent of the Berlin mission, who was stationed 

at Botsabela, on one of the sources of the Olifants river, 

near Middelburg, however, still exercised great influence 

in the tribe. 

i 8 7 6 ] Rebellion of the Bapedi under Sekukuni. 259 

The troubles and strife among the farmers had greatly- 
diminished the respect with which the Bantu at an earlier 
date had regarded them, and the success of the Bavenda 
in Zoutpansberg and still more the attitude of the largest 
Barolong clan in the west, that had been declared inde- 
pendent by the Keate award, had encouraged Sekukuni 
in the hope that he too might become independent, and 
that all the land once occupied by the Bakwena tribes 
some of whose remnants were then Bapedi might be his. 
From a Bantu point of view such a sentiment was 
patriotic and highly commendable, but it meant the 
extinction of the republic and the renewal of internecine 
war among the tribes, for if Sekukuni succeeded in his 
design, there was not a square kilometre of land north of 
the Vaal that had not once been occupied by black people, 
and dozens of chiefs could count among their retainers 
men whose fathers or grandfathers had once lived on 
ground now owned by farmers. If successful, and the 
example was followed by others, as it certainly in that 
case would be, a state of things would be created similar 
to that in Betshuanaland, where one clan was always ready 
to fall upon another. 

In the usual Bantu manner, hostilities were com- 
menced by robberies of cattle on an extensive scale 
from farmers in the neighbourhood by the people of 
Johannes, one of Sekukuni's sub-chiefs. This was a 
kind of feeler by which to test the strength of the re- 
publican government, when if it should prove greater 
than was anticipated, the chief could throw the blame 
upon his subordinate, pretend to punish him, and make 
compensation for the robberies. It was followed by 
nothing "more serious than complaints until March 1876, 
when the farmers of Lydenburg went into lager, and 
applied to the government for protection. None was 
forthcoming, so in April Mr. Cooper, the landdrost of 
the district, went to Pretoria himself to represent 
matters and plead for assistance to punish the robber 

260 History of the Transvaal Republic. [1876 

captain Johannes. He met with sympathy, but did not 
get what he wanted, an armed force. 

The gold diggers then took measures for their own 
defence, elected a leading man among them named 
Fraser to be their commandant, and spoke and acted as 
if they were independent of the republican government. 
They and some other British subjects in the country 
wrote to Sir Henry Barkly in Capetown and to Sir 
Henry Bulwer in Natal, representing the dangerous 
position they were in and asking for protection. 

On the 1st of May 1876 the volksraad met. There 
was a strong party in it opposed to the president, be- 
lieving that he was inclined to run the country into 
debt and take risks that were unnecessary, and nearly 
the whole of the members were apprehensive that his 
views regarding religion would prove a danger to the 
state. There was still nearly a year to run before his 
term of office would expire, but already many of the 
farmers were looking around for another to take his 
place, and some had even fixed upon Mr. F. W. Keitz, 
chief justice of the Orange Free State, as the man of their 
choice. He, however, declined the proposals that were 
made to him to announce himself a candidate for the 
presidency, as he objected to the creation of another 
faction in addition to those already existing in the 

At this time there was some apprehension also of war 
with the Zulus, as Ketshwayo was demanding restoration 
of the land on the eastern border of the old district of 
Utrecht that he had ceded in 1861, but the farmers did 
not fear this as much as the trouble with Sekukuni. 
There was thus ample material for discord when the 
volksraad met. 

The president's eloquence, however, once more pre 
vailed. The members were induced to approve of what 
he had done in Europe, and to increase, the railway tax 
from £1 to £1 10s. upon every farm and every burghei 

1876] Rebellion of the Bapedi under Sekukuni. 261 

not in possession of a farm, to meet the interest on 
the loan and to furnish funds for commencing the work. 
On the 16th of May the raad approved of a commando 
being called out to reduce Sekukuni to order, and this 
resolution was acted upon almost immediately by the 
president. He certainly did not want war, but he 
ealised that there was no possibility of avoiding it if 
e white man's supremacy was to be maintained, and 
erefore the sooner it was undertaken the better, 
ome weeks elapsed, however, before the burghers could 
uster in force, and while they were preparing to take 
e field, on the 24th of June the Bapedi attacked the lager 
t Kruger's Post and, though they were beaten off, got 
ossession of all the cattle that had been kept there. 
Just at this time the second large party of farmers, 
under Commandant J. C. Greyling and Fieldcornet 
L. M. Duplessis, that migrated from the republic to 
Damaraland, and eventually to Mossamedes in Portuguese 
territory, because they feared to remain in a country of 
which the head was not of the orthodox faith, left 
their homes and followed the path through the desert 
that the pioneer emigrants under Commandant Van Zyl 
had opened up with almost incredible suffering rather 
over two years before. There could not be a stronger 
example of what hardships earnest men and women were 
prepared to undergo in the execution of what they held to be 
their duty than those resolute people displayed, and their 
departure was a serious loss to the country. 

At length the commando, eleven hundred men in all, 
set out, with the president at its head. It was the 
greatest mistake he could make, for not only was he 
ignorant of military matters, but his presence caused 
fear and dejection to prevail. A strong position called 
Mathebi's Kop, which Mr. Burgers named Little Gibral- 
tar, was reached, but the first attack upon it failed. 
Like every other stronghold of the Bantu in this part 
I of the country, artificial terraces or ledges had been 

262 History of the Transvaal Republic. [ l8 76 

made along the face of a hill, and upon these, rising 
one above the other, the huts were built. The paths 
up to them were protected by rough stone walls, behind 
which the warriors were sheltered, and walls were also 
constructed along the outer edge of every terrace. A 
hill thus fortified was really impregnable, if the assail- 
ants were armed with assagais and battle axes only, 
and was difficult to take by men with rifles in their 
hands, though of course it could not long have been 
occupied against a foe in possession of field guns. Mr. 
Burgers was unfortunate in being without artillery. As 
the Bapedi, however, had no means of preserving a 
large supply of water, a primitive fortress such as this 
could not have held out long against a strong body of 

At three o'clock in the morning of the 4th of July 
the commando, aided by five or six hundred Swazis, 
made another attempt, and on this occasion after fight- 
ing for forty-eight hours the stronghold was taken, with 
a loss of three burghers and seven Swazis killed and 
twenty-nine men wounded. The Bapedi defended the 
place from behind the walls on every ledge, which were 
taken one after another and held while the assailants 
rested, until the last one was gained, when the Swazis 
rushed in and completed the task. These ferocious allies 
were not accustomed to give quarter, and the loss of 
the Bapedi was consequently great. 

On the 14th of July the stronghold occupied by 
Johannes was attacked, and was taken by the Swazis, 
who acted in their usual manner. Johannes was among 
the slain. 

There success ended. On the 2nd of August the 
mountain occupied by Sekukuni himself was attacked, and 
some huts in the lower part of the kraal were actually 
set on fire. It was a very strong position, but with 
a determined effort it might have been taken, though 
not without heavy Joss of life. Shortly after the com- 

l8 7 6 ] Rebellion of the Bapedi under Sekukuni. 263 

mencement of the attack some burghers were seized with 
sudden fear, and in the firm belief that the Almighty 
would punish them if they continued to fight under an 
unorthodox leader, they fell back. Their example was con- 
tagious, and in a few minutes the whole commando was 
in full retreat. The president rushed to the front and 
begged the burghers to shoot him rather than disgrace 
him, but it was of no use. The flight was continued 
until the Steelpoort river, the boundary of Sekukuni's 
location, was reached. There a few men rallied round 
the president, but the great majority of the farmers dis- 
persed to their homes. The military force of the republic 
had completely broken down, for even the Swazi contin- 
gent went back to their own country, expressing contempt 
for what they regarded as cowardice on the part of the 
burghers. And by many of the English in South Africa 
the retreat was regarded in the same light, for they 
could not comprehend the feelings of the farmers. Yet 
there were no men in the world who less deserved 
the name of cowards, as these same fugitives from Seku- 
kuni's mountain proved most thoroughly a few years 
later, when they were led by devout commandants and 
believed implicitly that God was on their side. Most 
probably if Cromwell's army had by some mischance 
found itself under the leadership of a deist, it would 
have acted in the same way as the burghers of the South 
African Kepublic did at Sekukuni's mountain, for the 
guiding spirit of the two forces was identical. 

According to a statement made by Sekukuni a few 
months later, he had lost about two thousand men 
killed, among whom were three of his own sons and 
two of his brothers. 

At the Steelpoort river the president remained long 
enough to adopt the only plan that seemed open to 
him to prevent the Bapedi from sending raiding parties 
to pillage the farms at a distance. There was with him 
a Prussian officer named Conrad von Schlickmann, who 

264 History of the Transvaal Republic. [i^7 6 

had been wounded in the Franco- German war seven 
years before, and had been decorated with the iron cross 
for distinguished bravery. He was of a good family, 
being nearly related to a general of high rank, but had 
drifted away to South Africa, and was an unsuccessful 
digger at the diamond fields. There he had taken a 
leading part in the disturbance which was suppressed by 
the dispatch of British troops under Lieutenant-General 
Cunynghame from Capetown, and was one of those 
exempted from the amnesty granted by Lieutenant-Governor 
Southey on the 1st of July 1875.* He was utterly fear- 
less, and seemed to the president to be just the man 
that was needed. He was commissioned to raise a force 
of volunteers and to build and occupy a couple of forts 
in such positions that he could prevent the Bapedi from 
cultivating gardens, and could also make use of any 
opportunity to do them damage. The volunteers were to 
be equipped free of charge, were to have rations, to be 
paid £5 a month, to have whatever cattle they could 
capture from the enemy, and upon the conclusion of 
peace were to be provided with farms two thousand 
morgen in extent without payment. 

A few men volunteered at once, and commenced to 
build a fort, while Captain von Schlickmann went to the 
goldfields, where he obtained thirty-seven recruits. On 
the 29th of September, Fort Burgers, as the structure 
on the bank of the Steelpoort river was called, was attacked 
by a strong party of Bapedi, who were beaten off by 
the puny garrison after two of the officers had been 
killed. At the time of the attack ninety recruits, led by 
Mr. Alfred Aylward, enlisted at the diamond fields, where 
great depression then prevailed, were on the way to Fort 
Burgers, and when they arrived the place was regarded 
as quite secure. The men in garrison were English, 

* The names of those exempted from the amnesty and who were put 
upon their trial for sedition, but were acquitted, were Henry Tucker, 
William Ling, Alfred Aylward, Gustavus Kobert Blanch, Conrad von 
Schlickmann, and John Brien. 

1876] Rebellion of the Bapedi under Sekukuni. 265 

Irish, and Germans. Another, but less important, fort 
was built on the high land to the westward of Sekukuni's 
kraal, and was garrisoned by Dutch-speaking volunteers. 
It was named Fort Weeber. 

The president returned to Pretoria, and summoned the 
volksraad to meet in extraordinary session. Surely no 
legislative body ever assembled under more depressing 
circumstances than that which came together on the 4th 
of September to deliberate upon the condition of the 
republic, and to devise measures of improvement. The 
treasury was empty, and without money even the little 
force of volunteers could not be kept together. There 
was one remedy, indeed, but it could not be applied, 
for want of time if for no other reason. Had 
Mr. Burgers resigned, and a man of ability and 
orthodox religion, whom the burghers would have been 
willing to support, taken his place, it is possible that 
even then the fortunes of the country might have been 
retrieved. But so far was he from even thinking of 
resigning that he regarded such a step as a betrayal of 
duty, as an abandonment of the state in the time of its 
utmost need, and he announced his intention of standing 
again for the presidency in February 1877. 

The volksraad did not know what to do, and the most 
discordant opinions were expressed. Only one thing all 
the members were agreed upon, to have nothing to do 
with Lord Carnarvon's scheme of confederation if it involved 
any loss of their perfect independence. At length a 
majority resolved to impose a special tax of £10 upon 
every quitrent farm and £2 upon every adult male resident 
not in possession of a farm, and to keep the volunteers 
in the field. The raad then closed its session, leaving 
matters in very little better condition than before it met, 
for no one believed the special taxes would be paid 
when the ordinary imposts remained unsettled. 

On the 17th of November Captain von Schlickmann 
was killed while leading the volunteers in an attack 

266 History of the Transvaal Republic. [i 8 7 6 

upon the kraal of the petty chief Magali at Mahera's 
Kloof. He was exposing himself recklessly, and calling 
to his followers to press on, when he was struck in 
the stomach by a ball, which passed through him. Eight 
of his men were wounded at the same time. Mr. Alfred 
Aylward,* an Irishman who had taken a leading part 
in the disturbance at the diamond fields, and who had 
also been excluded by Lieutenant-Governor Southey from 
the amnesty, then assumed command of the volunteers. 
A jovial, good-hearted, fearless man, Aylward was per- 
fectly at home in his new occupation, and succeeded in 
harassing the Bapedi to such an extent that by the 
advice of the reverend Mr. Merensky, of the Berlin mis- 
sionary society, Sekukuni asked for peace. Commandant 
Ferreira was sent to meet his principal counsellors, and 
on the 15th of February 1877 terms were arranged. 
Sekukuni agreed to pay two thousand head of cattle and 
to lose a small portion of his location. It was after- 
wards disputed whether he had, or had not, agreed also 
to pay taxes as a subject of the republic. That he had 
not been thoroughly subdued was soon apparent. 

The prospect of voluntary confederation with the British 
colonies being now disposed of, it was unnecessary for either 
the secretary of state or the high commissioner to act 
as cautiously as before in dealing with the republic. Both 
of them professed to regard Sekukuni as an independent 
chief, and on the 12th of July 1876 Lord Carnarvon 
announced that he would not permit of any extension of 
the border of the republic, and that he believed the war 
with the Bapedi might endanger the peace of Natal. 
And on the 6th of October Sir Henry Barkly wrote to 
dent Burgers, protesting against the continuance of 
tin- war and the employment of the Swazis in it. 

On the 5th of October 1876 Sir Theophilus Shepstone, 
who was then in London, was appointed a special com- 

* Author of The Transvaal of To-day, a demi octavo volume of 428 
publi bed in London in 1878. 

l8 7 6 ] The Mission of Sir Theophihis Shep stone. 267 

missioner to make enquiries as to the causes of the war 
in the South African Kepublic, and if necessary to annex 
to the British dominions any territory with the consent 
of a sufficient number of the inhabitants. This was cer- 
tainly not treating the republic as a sovereign independent 
state, as the farmers resident in it claimed it to be, and the 
only justification for such a measure that has ever been put 
forward either in Great Britain or South Africa is that the 
condition of the country made it a menace to the safety 
of the neighbouring British colonies. Whether that was 
so, or not, is a matter on which agreement is not to be 
expected even now. But a mere glance at English litera- 
ture of the day will show that in Great Britain the 
people were disposed to believe that Sekukuni had been 
instigated by Ketshwayo to resist aggression by the 
farmers, and had succeeded in repelling them ignomini- 
ously, thus unsettling the Bantu tribes and causing them 
to be defiant all over South Africa. So, it was said, 
when a house is on fire the occupiers of adjoining 
premises are justified in extinguishing the blaze, whether 
the owner desires it or not. And at this time it was 
believed not only in England, but in Natal, that Ketsh- 
wayo was intent upon invading the Transvaal and mas- 
sacring its inhabitants. Later events have shown that 
there was really little danger of this, and the Transvaal 
people were not then afraid of a Zulu invasion, but at 
the time there were circumstances that tended to sup- 
port such a belief. The Zulu chief was playing off Natal 
against the Transvaal, trying to make each believe that 
he had grievances against the other. 

Then there was the matter of Umbelini. This man 
was the favourite son of Umswazi, and upon the death 
of his father endeavoured to supplant his half-brother 
Umbandeni in the succession to the chieftainship. Um- 
bandeni, however, being the son of the great wife and 
therefore the lawful heir, had the support of the greater 
portion of the tribe, and Umbelini was defeated and com- 

268 History of the Transvaal Republic. [1876 

pelled to flee. He took refuge in Zululand, where he 
claimed the protection of Ketshwayo for himself and his 
followers, which was granted to him. Umbelini became, 
as he said, Ketshwayo' s dog, but a very snarling ill-tem- 
pered animal he proved to be to everyone except his new 
master. He was especially vindictive towards his own 
countrymen who had disowned him, and delighted in 
nothing more than in making raids upon little Bantu 
kraals, whose occupants were living quietly as subjects of 
the republican government and were also friends of the 
Swazis. Ketshwayo disowned responsibility for this man's 
actions, but at the same time gave him shelter and took 
no steps to keep him in order. 

Such then was the condition of the South African 
Eepublic at this time. Trade of all kinds had nearly 
ceased, there was no money in the treasury, and the 
farmers — even some of the members of the volksraad who 
had voted for special taxation — were unable or unwilling to 
meet their obligations to the state, the commando system 
had utterly broken down, the gold diggers and nearly all 
the English and German residents in the villages were 
acting as they chose without paying any regard to the 
republican officials, and the Bantu tribes could not be 
controlled. The want of confidence between the great 
majority of the burghers and the head of the state had 
such a condition of things as its natural result. Add to 
all this that an election for a president was shortly to 
take place, and that Mr. Paul Kruger, the very incarna- 
tion of the opinions of the orthodox burghers, was prac- 
tically sure of being returned, and the prospects of Mr. 
Burgers and the so-called liberal and progressive party — 
the party of the towns as against the farms — was gloomy 

Sir Theophilus Shepstone sailed from England in the 
Windsor Castle, which was wrecked on Dassen Island on 
the 19th of October 1876, fortunately without loss of life. 
H«' made some stay in Capetown and in Maritzburg, 

1877] The Mission of Sir Theophilus Shepstone. 269 

conferring with the authorities and learning as much as 
he could of their views with regard to his mission. On 
the 28th of December he left Natal for Pretoria, accom- 
panied by Mr. Melmoth Osborn, resident magistrate of 
Newcastle, Captain Clarke of the royal artillery, resident 
magistrate of Maritzburg, Captain James of the thirteenth 
regiment, Mr. Morcom, an official of the attorney-general's 
department, Mr. Fynney, Bantu interpreter, Dr. J. Vacy 
Lyle, M.D., and Colonel Brooke of the royal engineers. 
Mr. (later Sir) Eider Haggard, the eminent novelist, who 
was acting as the special commissioner's private secretary, 
was also with the party. Sub-Inspector Phillips with 
twenty-five men of the Natal mounted police went as an 

On the 22nd of January 1877 the special commissioner 
reached Pretoria. In the villages along the route he had 
been warmly welcomed by the English and German resi- 
dents, and even a few farmers gave him a cordial greet- 
ing. He told them he had come as a friend to assist the 
country, and they seem to have believed that his intention 
was to do so without interfering with its independence. 
At the seat of government he had a state reception as 
the special representative of her Majesty the queen of 
England, which was followed by a series of festivities. 
When these were ended business was entered on, and 
Messrs. Osborn and Henderson were appointed by Sir 
Theophilus Shepstone to confer with Messrs. Kruger and 
Jorissen, and ascertain the condition of affairs. The first 
conference took place on the 26th of January 1877. Mr. 
Kruger was quite willing to talk over the state of affairs 
and to give whatever information was required, but he 
refused to discuss any matter affecting the independence 
of the country. 

The president called the volksraad together, and on the 
13th of February it met. The election for a president was 
to have taken place in a few days, but as everyone rea- 
lised that it could not then be held, the raad resolved to 

270 History of the Transvaal Republic. [ l8 77 

postpone it until May. The arrangement of peace with 
Sekukuni was confirmed. Mr. Burgers in an impassioned 
speech laid before the members the desperate financial 
condition of the country, owing to neither the ordinary 
nor the special taxes having been paid to anything like 
the amount absolutely needed. He proposed certain 
reforms, which they rejected without even discussing them. 
They were the establishment of a supreme court with 
properly qualified judges to take the place of the court of 
combined landdrosts, the alteration of the constitution of 
the executive council by making it consist of the heads 
of departments, the maintenance of a regular police force, 
the adoption of a common policy with the other South 
African communities regarding the treatment of the Bantu, 
and the entrance into a railway, postal, telegraph, and 
customs convention with the Orange Free State and the 
British colonies. These measures were so commendable 
that they would certainly have been adopted if any other 
man than Mr. Burgers had proposed them, but coming 
from him they were regarded, with suspicion. Some of 
the members indeed were inclined to consider them upon 
their own merits, but as three or four hundred armed 
farmers had ridden into Pretoria to ascertain the special 
commissioner's intentions, while they were there the 
volksraad could only act as it did. 

On the 1st of March the intention of the special com- 
missioner was definitely made known. The armed burghers 
who were in Pretoria insisted upon a clear explanation, 
and in consequence the president and members of the 
executive council met him and requested him to give them 
the information needed. He replied to the effect that he 
1 come as a friend to save the country. Mr. Paul 
Kruger then asked if there was an intention to take their 
independence from them. The commissioner replied that 
the inherent weakness of the state left him no alternative. 
Mr. Kruger said that could be remedied, but the commis- 
sioner responded that he did not think it possible. 

1877] The Mission of Sir Theophilus S hep stone. 271 

The volksraad now considered the matter with closed 
doors, when it was resolved that in May a president 
should be elected for a term of five years, that an execu- 
tive council should then be chosen by the raad, that there 
should be a permanent police force of one hundred and 
twenty-five men and a corps of artillery, that a. supreme 
court of properly qualified judges, should be established, and 
that periodical circuit courts should be held. A new 
office was created, that of vice-president of the republic, 
and by the volksraad Mr. Paul Kruger was elected to 
fill it. 

Without any delay Mr. Burgers carried one of these 
resolutions into effect. The position of judge was offered 
to Advocate Kotze, who was then practising in the Cape 
Colony, and who accepted it. He arrived in Pretoria and 
assumed the duty only a few days later. 

The Lydenburg volunteers under Mr. Aylward made no 
objection to the change of title to that of police, and 
shortly afterwards proved their fidelity by quelling a dis- 
turbance at Pilgrim's Rest, where the diggers had forcibly 
released the editor of the Goldfields Mercury from the 
prison in which he had been confined for a defamatory 
article on the gold commissioner. 

Meantime declarations in favour of including the 
Transvaal in the British dominions were being received 
from the English and German residents in various parts 
of the country, and the farmers were taking no active 
steps to oppose them. Mr. Burgers himself had come 
to the conclusion that nothing else could save the 
country from ruin, and he actually assisted in the wording 
of the proclamation by which independence was to be 
destroyed and submitted in turn for the special com- 
missioner's approval the protest which it would be 
necessary for him to make. He knew that he did not 
stand the remotest chance of being reelected in May, 
but it would be unjust to assume that he was influenced 
by this in pursuing the course that he did. It was his 

272 History of the Transvaal Republic, [^77 

sincere conviction, and no one, as he afterwards asserted, 
regretted the fall of the republic through its own feeble- 
ness as much or as sincerely as he did. He never 
acknowledged, and it is even possible that he never realised, 
how much his own lack of orthodoxy had contributed to 
its downfall. 

On the 11th of April -at a meeting of the executive 
council a communication from Sir Theophilus Shepstone 
was read, in which he announced that he had decided to 
proclaim, without delay, British authority over the South 
African Kepublic. A resolution was then adopted unani- 
mously by the members, of which the following is an 
English translation : 

"Whereas her Britannic Majesty's government, by 
the convention of Sand Eiver in 1852, has solemnly 
pledged the independence of the people to the north of 
the Vaal river, and whereas the government of the 
South African Republic is not aware of ever having 
given any reason for hostile action on the part of her 
Majesty's government, or any grounds for such an act 
of violence ; 

" Whereas this government has always shown its 
readiness, and is still prepared, to do all that in justice 
and equity may be demanded, and also to remove all 
causes of dissatisfaction that may exist; 

" Whereas also this government has repeatedly expressed 
its entire willingness to enter into such treaties or agree- 
ments with her Majesty's government as may be considered 
necessary for the general protection of the white popu- 
lation of South Africa, and is prepared punctually to 
execute such agreements ; 

" Whereas, according to public statements of her 
Majesty's secretary of state for the colonies, Lord Car- 
narvon, there exists no desire on the part of the British 
government to force the people of the South African 
Republic against their wish under the authority of the 
British government; 

1877] The Mission of Sir Theophilus Shep stone. 273 

" Whereas the people, by memorials or otherwise, have, 
by a large majority, plainly stated that they are averse 
to it ; 

" Whereas this government is aware that it is not in 
a condition to maintain the rights and independence of 
the people with the sword against the superior power 
of Great Britain, and moreover has no desire in any way 
to take any steps by which the white inhabitants of 
South Africa would be divided, in the face of the common 
enemy, against each other, or might come in hostile 
contact with each other, to the great danger of the 
Christian population of South Africa, without having first 
employed all means to secure in a peaceful way and by 
friendly mediation the rights of the people; 

" Therefore the government protests most strongly 
against this act of her Majesty's special commissioner. 

" It is also further resolved to send without delay a 
commission of delegates to Europe and America, with 
full power and instruction to add to their number a 
third person, if required, in order to endeavour in the 
first place to lay before her Majesty's government the 
desire and wishes of the people, and in case this might 
not have the desired effect, which this government would 
deeply regret, and cannot as yet believe, then to appeal 
to the friendly assistance and intercession of other 
powers, particularly of those which have acknowledged 
the independence of this state. 

" As members of this commission are appointed the 
honourable attorney-general, Dr. E. J. F. Jorissen, and 
S. J. P. Kruger, vice-president of the South African Kepublic." 

On the 12th of April 1877 a proclamation was issued 
by Sir Theophilus Shepstone, and was formally read by 
Mr. Melmoth Osborn to a number of people assembled 
to hear it, in which the South African Kepublic was 
declared to be a portion of the British dominions, the 
reasons assigned being those already mentioned as consti- 
tuting danger to the whole of South Africa. The British 


274 History of the Transvaal Republic. [1877 

flag was then hoisted by Mr. Eider Haggard. The pre- 
sident recorded a protest, but it was regarded as a mere 
matter of form. An address to the people was issued at 
the same time, in which their deplorable condition was 
pointed out, and the certainty of improvement under 
British rule assured. The burghers were relieved of the 
payment of the war tax, and the few who had met 
this obligation were promised that the amount would be 
deducted from the ordinary taxes when due. The Bantu 
were relieved from the charges for passes which were 
needed when they were travelling, which was believed to 
be most gratifying to them. No resistance was offered 
by any one to this act of annexation. 

The special commissioner then assumed the adminis- 
tration of the government. The former officials who were 
willing to take an oath of allegiance to her Britannic 
Majesty were retained in their posts, and £20,000 was 
drawn from the military chest to meet the most urgent 
needs. The first battalion of the thirteenth regiment, 
fifty artillerymen with four, field guns, and a few engineers 
and Natal mounted police, eight hundred men in all, that 
had been waiting in readiness at Newcastle, now marched 
without opposition to Pretoria to support the new 

Mr. Burgers left at once for the Cape Colony, where 
he took up his residence. As he had expended all his 
private means in the service of the republic, the imperial 
authorities granted him part repayment in the form of a 
pension, payable from the revenue of the new depen- 
dency, which enabled him to live without anxiety until 
the 9th of December 1881, when he died. 

So fell the South African Kepublic, after a troublous 
existence of nearly forty years, from the time that Com- 
mandant Hendrik Potgieter drove away the Matabele 
under Moselekatse and took possession of the country. 



The intelligence that the Transvaal had been proclaimed 

within the British realm was received by the majority 

of people throughout South Africa with a feeling of regret, 

because every one knew that the burghers there were 

almost to a man opposed to it. It is true that no one 

could then foresee the bloodshed and waste of money 

this unfortunate measure would cause, yet no thoughtful 

person could look upon the situation created by it without 

apprehension of grave danger. Even in Natal, where 

there was a prospect of commercial gain, it was commonly 

regarded as an act that a wise statesman would have 

avoided. Many years previously Sir Theophilus Shep- 

stone had endeavoured to induce the imperial government 

to allow him to remove the bulk of the Bantu in Natal 

to the territory then vacant along the head waters of 

the Umzimvubu river, where he proposed that he should 

rule over them as a semi-independent chief, but his 

plans were frustrated by the clear foresight of Sir George 

Grey. And now those who knew him best considered 

that his annexation of the Transvaal was merely his old 

project carried out with another race and in another 


There was indeed a small number of men, terming 

themselves imperialists, who expressed great satisfaction 

with what had been done, and who talked glibly of the 

ease with which Great Britain could keep an army in 

this country strong enough to suppress all opposition 

to her will, but such men are better adapted to wreck 


2J6 The Transvaal under British Rule. T l8 77 

an empire than to strengthen it. They only intensified 
the racial feeling of the farmers, which prudent men 
were striving to allay. 

The view taken in the Orange Free State, which was 
a true reflection of that in the larger portion of the 
Cape Colony, was shown by the proceedings in the 
volksraad, which assembled on the 7th of May 1877. 

The president in his opening speech merely stated 
what had occurred, as made known in the Government 
Gazette, without expressing any opinion whatever, but 
on the 23rd of May the matter was brought on for 
discussion. There was a warm feeling expressed that an 
act of injustice had been committed, which would prevent 
anything like unity of action between the different 
communities in South Africa in case of a general rising 
of the Bantu, and, if not rectified, would cause great 
bitterness and distrust regarding the dealings of Great 
Britain with this country. The discussion ended by the 
following resolution, proposed by Mr. H. Klynveld and 
seconded by Mr. J. E. de Villiers, being carried almost 
unanimously, only three members not voting for it : 

" The volksraad of the Orange Free State makes known 
its deep regret that the sister republic, while existing in 
perfect peace with her Britannic Majesty's government, 
against the wish of the government and the majority 
of the people was proclaimed British territory by her 
Britannic Majesty's commissioner Sir Theophilus Shepstone. 
The raad believes that measure will be most prejudicial 
in its consequences for the common interests of the 
white population of all South Africa, and hopes, placing 
confidence in the justice of her Britannic Majesty's 
government, that the wrong done to a free and indepen- 
dent people will be redressed after calm consideration. 
The raad therefore trusts that the mission of the 
deputation from the people and the government of 
the South African republic will be crowned with good 
success. " 

l8 77] Resolution of the Free State Volksraad. 277 

What might have happened under other circumstances 
should seldom be discussed in history, but in this 
instance later events have made so much plain that 
could not have been foreseen in 1877, that it is safe 
to say what the wisest course would then have been to 
follow. The independence of the republic should have 
been respected. The election of a president should not 
have been interfered with, when Mr. Paul Kruger would 
certainly have been chosen by a very large majority. 
He should then have been assisted to put the finances 
of the country in order, which was really the only 
difficulty in the way of good government and prosperity, 
and not another word should have been said about the 
independence of Sekukuni or the Keate award. In such 
a case the president and people alike would have 
regarded England as a true friend, and the distrust and 
dislike which prevailed for so many years would have 
been prevented. Mr. Kruger would have been known 
as a very different man from what he afterwards 
became. There would not have been the slightest 
difficulty in arranging postal, telegraph, railway, and 
customs conventions, or in the adoption of a common 
policy towards the Bantu. As was stated by more than 
one member of the Free State volksraad, it would have 
been easy to enter into an arrangement by which in 
case of war each community would have been bound to 
assist the others, so that to the Bantu the Europeans 
would appear as one power, and consequently be more 

Had such a condition of things been brought about, 
though the Transvaal would have retained its flag and 
its independence, there would have been practical unity 
between the republics and the British colonies, and in 
course of time a feeling that full political union would 
be better for all might have* grown to maturity. This 
was the belief of Mr. J. C. Molteno, then prime 
minister of the Cape Colony, and of many other 

278 The Transvaal under British Rule. [1877 

thoughtful men. And what a sea of blood and what 
millions of treasure it would have saved ! But it was 
not to be, and so only what actually took place remains 
to be recorded in history. 

Messrs. Kruger and Jorissen, who had been appointed 
by the executive council of the republic to convey their 
protest to England, left Pretoria for that purpose as 
soon as they could make the necessary arrangements. 
On the 4th of July they were admitted by Lord Car- 
narvon to an interview at the colonial office in London, 
and were received most courteously. They stated their 
case, presented the protest with which they were 
charged, and requested that Sir Theophilus Shepstone's 
proclamation should be cancelled, to which his Lordship 
replied that it was impossible to restore the independence 
of the Transvaal. He assured them, however, that he 
was disposed to do everything in his power to promote 
the welfare of the country, and invited them to favour 
him with their views as to how it should be governed 
as a dependency of the British crown. This, they said, 
they were unable to do, as they regarded it as of right 
an independent state. 

On subsequent occasions Lord Carnarvon repeated his 
invitation, which may be summed up as : only consent 
to be British subjects and to enter into confederation 
with the other South African colonies, and every possible 
privilege will be granted to you. Yet he seemed to 
believe that the great majority of the Transvaal burghers 
were in favour of British rule, and was confirmed in 
this opinion by the tone of Sir Theophilus Shepstone's 
despatches. For instance, on the 26th of July the 
administrator wrote describing a tour he had just made, 
asserting that he had been enthusiastically received in 
the towns, and forwarding copies of addresses presented 
to him at Ventersdorp, Lichtenburg, Zeerust, Eustenburg, 
and Marthinus-Wessel-Stroom. Lord Carnarvon of course 
did not know that these addresses represented only the 

1877] Mission of Messrs. Kruger and Jorissen. 279 

floating population of the villages, and not at all the 
landholders of the country. Under these circumstances 
it is difficult to understand why he should have made 
such efforts to secure the goodwill of the delegates who, 
he believed, represented only a small minority of the 

On the 18th of August he wrote to Messrs. Kruger 
and Jorissen that he was willing to do all that was 
possible in favour of the Dutch-speaking people of the 
Transvaal, whose language should remain one of the 
official languages of the country. The British government 
had already advanced £100,000 to the new dependency, 
and he would request the Cape and Natal to contribute 
to it a share of the customs duty on imports passing 
through those colonies to it. Its schools, telegraphs, 
roads, and railways would be attended to. He could not 
consent to a vote of the people being taken, as 
Mr. Kruger had proposed, to ascertain who were in 
favour of and who against British rule, because he could 
not allow an act performed in the queen's name to be 
questioned : it was irrevocable. He added : "I should 
consider it in the highest degree inexpedient to place on 
record that an extremely small minority of the commu- 
nity, as I believe you agree with me in estimating it to be, 
is opposed to an acceptance of the queen's rule." 

The delegates visited Holland, Belgium, France, and 
Germany, and everywhere received expressions of sym- 
pathy with their cause, but none of the governments 
was willing to do anything to assist them. They then 
returned to South Africa, and announced the failure of 
their mission. 

Meantime the administrator found himself greatly 
embarrassed for want of money. On the 16th of April 
he appointed a commission to examine the state of the 
finances, and bring in a report as soon as possible. 
This commission found that, including the railway loan 
in Holland and the sum borrowed from the Cape Com- 

280 The Transvaal under British Rule. [ l8 77 

inercial bank, £248,088 would be required to pay off the 
public debt, in addition to which it was supposed that 
there might be some small claims not yet sent in. The 
books in the treasury and in the audit department were 
found to be in the greatest confusion, but as well as 
could be ascertained a sum amounting to £133,971 was 
needed immediately to meet pressing obligations. Upon 
this being made known in England, an amount of 
£100,000 was advanced as a loan by the imperial 
treasury, and Mr. W. C. Sergeaunt, a qualified accountant, 
was sent out to put the books in order and make a 
proper statement of the financial condition. Mr. Ser- 
geaunt reached Pretoria in December 1877, but had 
such difficulty in tracing the accounts that he was 
unable to send in a report until the 15th of August 
1878. He found that at the time of annexation the 
Transvaal had a debenture debt of £156,833 6s. 8d., 
namely, £63,000 in Capetown and £93,833 6s. 8d. in 
Amsterdam. Of the money raised by President Burgers 
in Holland, £63,200 had been expended in payment for 
railway material to a firm' in Belgium. There was at 
the same time a floating debt, or sums owing for 
various purposes, of £138,238, making the total liabilities 
on the 12th of April 1877 £295,071 6s. 8d. 

Mr. Melmoth Osborn was at this time colonial secre- 
tary at Pretoria, and Mr. Henrique C. Shepstone 
secretary for native affairs, in addition to whom several 
other Natal officials had been appointed to important 
posts in the Transvaal. The appointment of these 
officials raised the status of the civil service, though 
their want of acquaintance with the language of the 
people made them less useful than they would otherwise 
have been. 

The attitude of nearly the whole of the people of the 
country towards the new officials was avoidance as much 
as possible of any intercourse with them. The farmers 
asked no favours, and they abstained from making any 

l8 7 8 ] Renewal of Sekukuni s Rebellion. 281 

complaints. The only prominent instance at this time in 
which this rule was not strictly observed was a letter 
from Mr. Marthinus W. Pretorius addressed to Sir Theo- 
philus Shepstone on the 14th of January 1878, bringing 
to his notice that many guns and large quantities of 
ammunition were being brought into the country from 
the diamond fields by Bantu, and objecting strongly to 
this being permitted. 

The Transvaal was not long a British dependency 
when it became necessary for the administrator to ex- 
amine the position of Sekukuni, with the result that he 
became convinced that the Bapedi were not independent, 
as the British authorities before the annexation had 
believed them to be, but were in reality subjects and 
rebels. A demand was made upon Sekukuni for the two 
thousand head of cattle he had agreed to pay when 
terms were granted to him by President Burgers' govern- 
ment, but he sent in only two hundred and forty- five 
head with a few small tusks of ivory and some goats. 
The administrator returned these to him, with a demand 
for all that was due, and the chief then took up arms 
again. On this occasion he was instigated to rebel by 
Ketshwayo, who had assumed a hostile attitude towards 
the Transvaal when it became a British possession and 
Natal could no longer be played off against it. 

In February 1878 the Bapedi attacked a number of 
kraals of little clans who were obedient subjects, swept 
off their cattle, and otherwise despoiled them. In all 
haste Sir Theophilus Shepstone sent to Natal for military 
assistance, and the three hundred men of the ninetieth 
regiment who had just arrived there were forwarded to 
Middelburg to protect that locality. At this time it was 
necessary to keep two companies of the eightieth and 
three companies of the thirteenth at Utrecht, on account 
of raids frequently made by Umbelini in that district. 

About the middle of the month (February 1878) the 
chieftainess Legolwana, who was a sister of Sekukuni, 

282 The Transvaal under British Rule. L l8 7 8 

sent an armed party to assist her brother in an attack 
upon the obedient chief Pokwana, whose kraal was near 
Fort Weeber. The fort was then occupied by a small 
party of volunteers under Commandant Schultz. The 
commandant sent ten mounted men to remonstrate with 
Legolwana's people, but on their approach they were 
fired upon, and were therefore obliged to ride back again. 
Pokwana was then attacked, many of his people were 
killed, and his kraals and crops were much damaged. 

Sekukuni's division of the force next attacked the 
farmers in the Waterval valley near Lydenburg, all of 
whom managed to escape except one, named Venter, who 
was murdered. The whole of the cattle were swept off, 
and other damage was done. 

The administrator appealed to the country for volun- 
teers to assist Captain Clarke to suppress the rebellion, 
but met with hardly any response. The answer of the 
burghers was : restore our independence, we will not fight 
for a country that is not our own. For want of money 
to pay them he had been obliged to dismiss the police 
under Captain Aylward, and had raised in their stead a 
force of two hundred Natal blacks, who were stationed 
at Lydenburg under command of Captain Clarke. It 
could hardly be expected that white men, whether Dutch 
or English-speaking, would care to fight side by side 
with these men, except as officers over them. 

At the beginning of March Fort Burgers was besieged 
by a Bapedi force about five hundred strong. There were 
only six men, including their leader Mr. George Eckers- 
ley, to defend it, but they managed to hold out until 
one hundred and four of the Natal blacks arrived and 
enabled them to escape by night. On this occasion 
volunteers were called for at Pretoria to go to the rescue 
and afterwards assist to hold the fort, but only three men 
came forward. The people had no spirit in the cause, 
and seemed to be indifferent as to what became of the 
country under the new government. 

^78] Renewal of Sekukunis Rebellion. 283 

On the 9th of March Fort Weeber was abandoned, and 
the twenty-five men under Commandant Schultz that had 
garrisoned it were sent to Lydenburg to assist in the 
operations against Sekukuni from that village. The Bapedi 
were at this time attacking and plundering the obedient 
clans in all directions, and Captain Clarke, for want of 
sufficient force, was obliged to act on the defensive only. 
On the 24th, however, he was able to leave Lydenburg 
with one hundred of the Natal black police, and march 
to Fort Weeber, which on his arrival he found had been 
destroyed by Legolwana. But as he had arranged with 
Captain Van Deventer to try to get a party of volunteers 
together to meet him there and attack the hostile chief- 
tainess, he formed a temporary camp, and awaited the 
hoped-for assistance. On the 20th Captain Van Deventer 
arrived with fifty English and German volunteers, whom 
he had obtained in Pretoria, and seven hundred and 
seventy obedient Bantu were enrolled as auxiliaries. 

At early dawn on the 5th of April an attack was made 
upon Legolwana' s kraal, which was on a conical hill, and 
after two hours' severe fighting by the volunteers and the 
Natal black policemen, all the terraces except the upper- 
most were taken. The obedient Bantu, who were termed 
the friendlies, gave no assistance, but remained at the 
foot of the hill firing their guns recklessly. Four of the 
Natal blacks were killed, and five of the volunteers and 
seven of the Natal blacks were wounded. Twenty-seven 
dead bodies of the defenders were counted, and two 
hundred and seventy-seven head of horned cattle and two 
hundred and eleven sheep and goats were captured. The 
greater part of the kraal was burnt, but Legolwana was 
not made a prisoner, nor was her power much weakened 
by this reverse. 

Sir Theophilus Shepstone now applied to Major Lanyon 
for assistance, and, much to the credit of the people of 
the diamond fields, on the 4th of May Captain Stewart 
left Kimberley with two officers and one hundred and one 

284 The Transvaal under British Rule. [ l8 7 8 

men for Pretoria. No part of South Africa excelled 
G-riqualand West in the efforts made to maintain European 
supremacy at this troublesome period. Without any assist- 
ance from outside her own border, without a single imperial 
soldier, she suppressed a formidable rebellion of well-armed 
coloured people, many of whom were hunters by occupa- 
tion and skilful in the use of the rifle, for which 
purpose she put seven hundred volunteers in the field. 
She sent the diamond field horse to assist the Cape 
Colony against the rebel Karabe clans, and now she sent 
a detachment of the same corps to aid the Transvaal. 
They were not by any means all unemployed men, glad 
to get anything to do, who offered their services, many 
of them made considerable sacrifices to meet what they 
felt to be the call of honour and duty. 

The number of men raised in the Transvaal, however, 
was so small that, even with this addition, nothing of 
any importance could be done to weaken the power of 
Sekukuni. The only event worthy of mention took 
place from the 17th to the 22nd of June, when the 
stronghold of the petty chief Mahali was invested by 
volunteers under Captains Ferreira and Kaaff, and was 
at length taken and destroyed. Five volunteers and one 
Natal black lost their lives in the final assault, and seven 
volunteers and one black were wounded. 

From that time until the 14th of July nothing was 
done. Then Captain J. P. Ferreira with thirty mounted 
and fifty-six unmounted men who after the suppression 
of the rebellion in the Cape Colony had marched through 
Kaffraria to Natal and thence to the Transvaal, aided by 
Captain Van Deventer and ten mounted men of his 
corps, burned and destroyed the kraals of seven petty 
chiefs subordinate to Sekukuni on the eastern side of 
the Lulu mountains. But so little effect had these flea- 
bites upon the defiant Bapedi chief that soon afterwards 
he sent a taunting message to the administrator asking if 
there would be any objection to his occupying the 

1878] Renewal of Sekukunis Rebellion. 285 

ground on which Fort Weeber had stood. He could 
boast of some success too, for on the 7th of August 
the camp of the diamond field horse was surprised, and 
fifty-two horses and forty-eight oxen that were grazing 
were captured and driven away. 

In August all the men of the eightieth regiment that 
were not already there were sent to the Transvaal, and 
Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Eowlands, C.B., V.C., was 
placed by General Thesiger in command of the whole of 
the imperial forces in the country, with directions to 
suppress the rebellion of the Bapedi. The frontier light 
horse, as Carrington's corps had been renamed, two 
hundred strong, then commanded by Major Kedvers 
Buller, C.B., was also sent to aid in this duty, and 
arrived in September. An application was made to the 
Swazi chief for a contingent, but he was unable to 
supply one, as Ketshwayo was threatening to make war 
upon him. There were three hundred and seventy-five 
local volunteers, mostly gold diggers, and ninety-six 
Natal black policemen at Lydenburg to draw upon. 

On the 19th of September twelve hundred soldiers of 
the line and six hundred cavalry were assembled at Fort 
Burgers, where a depot for stores and provisions was 
formed, to serve as the base of operations. 

On the 5th of October Colonel Eowlands with three 
hundred and twenty-eight mounted men and one hundred 
and thirty infantry left this camp for the purpose of 
forming an outpost close to Sekukuni's stronghold. He 
had with him also two seven-pounder mountain guns, 
and a number of loaded waggons. His intention 
was to obtain information concerning the rebels and 
their means of defence, to send out patrols from the 
new outpost to seize cattle and harass the Bapedi, and 
ultimately to bring up reinforcements and attack the 
stronghold. The distance from his. base to the point aimed 
at was about forty kilometres or twenty-five English 

286 The Transvaal under British Rule. [1878 

Almost immediately after setting out difficulties were 
encountered. There was no proper road, so the march 
was necessarily very slow, only five or six miles being 
covered in the course of a day. Water was obtainable only 
at long intervals, so that men and animals often suffered 
very severely from thirst. Then swarms of Bapedi hovered 
around, and kept pace with the column as it moved on. 
They did not venture to come to close quarters, and 
where the ground was favourable could be kept at a 
respectful distance by the fire of the seven-pounders, but 
they prevented the horses and oxen being sent . far to 
graze, so that the animals soon grew weak from hunger. 
On one occasion the slaughter oxen stampeded from 
the fire of the cannon, and fell into the* insurgents' 
hands, causing no small loss to the troops. 

At length by perseverance a point close to Sekukuni's 
stronghold was reached, when it became apparent to 
Colonel Rowlands that the place would be very difficult 
to take, and that there was no possibility of maintaining 
a station in the neighbourhood at that time of the year, 
as it was the unhealthy season for men and the horse 
sickness was already appearing. He therefore abandoned 
his design, and fell back to his camp at Fort Burgers, 
which he reached with his men, horses, and oxen utterly 
exhausted. The casualties were one soldier wounded 
and twenty horses lost. The Bapedi were as jubilant 
over this event as they had been over the retreat of 
the commando under President Burgers, and their emis- 
saries were soon busy conveying the intelligence in greatly 
exaggerated language to the tribes far and near. 

The only success 1 gained at this time, and that a 
very slight one, fell to Colonel Rowlands on the 27th 
of October. On that day he left his camp with one 
hundred and forty mounted men, three hundred and 
forty infantry, and two hundred and fifty Bantu auxili- 
aries, and by a single quick march reached the kraal of 
one of Sekukuni's dependent chieftains at a distance of 

l8 7 8 l Feeling in the Country. 287 

about eight kilometres or five miles, which he burned 
killing some sixteen men, seizing the cattle, and destroy- 
ing the grain. 

This ended the effort of Colonel Kowlands to subdue 
the rebels. He withdrew his forces to healthier positions, 
intending to resume operations when the sickly season 
was over, but before that time came every British 
soldier in South Africa was needed to take part in a 
contest compared with which the struggle with Sekukuni 
sinks into insignificance. 

The report of Messrs. Kruger and Jorissen when they 
returned from England that Lord Carnarvon had refused 
to restore the independence of the Transvaal was re- 
ceived by the burghers with great disappointment. The 
declaration of the secretary of state that he believed the 
great majority of the people were in favour of British 
rule, however, created a hope that if the true condition 
of things were made known to him in a manner that 
could not be challenged, he would change his opinion 
and do as they wished. Public meetings were then held 
all over the country, at which it was resolved that 
memorials should be drawn up, one in favour of British 
rule, and one in favour of independence, which should 
be submitted to the electors, with a request that they 
should sign one or the other, or, if they preferred to 
do so, abstain from signing at all. It was computed 
that there were about eight thousand persons entitled to 
vote in the matter. By each assemblage a committee 
was appointed, who should meet with all the other 
committees after the memorials had been signed, and 
decide what should then be done. 

On the 11th of March 1878 Sir Theophilus Shepstone 
issued a proclamation threatening punishment of those 
taking part in public meetings opposed to the govern- 
ment, but it had no other effect than exciting indigna- 
tion, as every one was prepared to set him at defiance. 
Englishmen may regret that such a feeling existed, and 

288 The Transvaal tinder British Rule. [187 1 

may believe that the farmers were exceedingly perverse 
for not preferring to work cordially with the new 
government for the benefit of all South Africa, but no 
one who asks himself the question what he himself 
would do if a foreign power — no matter how benevo- 
lent — were to destroy the independence of his country, 
and who reflects upon what his attitude would likely be, 
can be surprised at the action of these men of kindred 
blood to our own. 

On the 4th, 5th, and 6th of April the combined com- 
mittees met at Doornfontein, and resolved to send 
Messrs. S. J. Paul Kruger and Pieter J. Joubert to 
England to endeavour to obtain the restoration of the 
independence of the country. The former deputation had 
gone as representing a defunct government, the present 
one would go as representing the great majority of the 
burghers, for they would take with them a memorial 
with six thousand nine hundred and fifty-one signatures 
in favour of independence against one with five hundred 
and eighty-seven signatures in favour of British rule. Mr. 
W. Eduard Bok was appointed secretary to accompany 
the deputation. 

On the 14th of May Messrs. Kruger, Joubert, and Bok 
left Pretoria on this mission, after addressing a farewell 
letter to Sir Theophilus Shepstone, in which they de- 
scribed the country as in a condition worse than when 
it was proclaimed British territory, and referred to the 
wars with Bantu then being carried on over a wide 
area in British South Africa. 

Having arrived in London, the deputation made its 
7nission known to Sir Michael Hicks Beach, who was 
then secretary of state for the colonies, delivered the 
two memorials, and on the 10th of July addressed a letter 
to him, in which the annexation was protested against on 
the following grounds : 

" 1. That it is a violation of the convention entered into 
at Sand Eiver in January 1852 between her Majesty's 

1878] Mission of Messrs. Krttger and Joubert. 289 

assistant commissioners and the representatives of the 
emigrant farmers. 

" 2. That the reports as to the nature of the distur- 
bances in the Transvaal, and the peril to the peace and 
safety of the adjoining colonies thereby threatened, and 
upon which the instructions to Sir Theophilus Shepstone 
were founded, were gross exaggerations of facts, and mis- 
represented the actual condition of the country. 

" 3. That the condition laid down in her Majesty's 
commission to Sir Theophilus Shepstone requiring the 
assent of the inhabitants thereof, or a sufficient number 
of them, or the legislature thereof, has not been complied 

" 4. That the British government cannot with justice 
avail themselves of the plea that the defencelessness and 
disorganisation of the republic, and the encroachments 
of the natives and consequent danger to the British 
colonies, made the intervention of their authority a neces- 
sary act, inasmuch as these evils, if they existed, were 
the direct result and consequence of the acts of their 
own representatives." 

On the 6th of August Sir Michael Hicks Beach in- 
formed Messrs. Kruger and Jorissen in writing that it 
was impossible for many reasons that the queen's 
sovereignty should be withdrawn from the Transvaal. 
He said that the destiny of that country was not to 
be dependent upon the opinion of a majority of the 
white inhabitants only, and the question whether cir- 
cumstances had arisen to justify the annexation was 
one which her Majesty claimed as the paramount power 
in South Africa to be alone entitled to answer. He 
added : " It is the object of her Majesty's government 
that the Transvaal should remain an integral and separate 
state, united with the neighbouring colonies, for pur- 
poses which are common to all, into a South African 
confederation, the centre of which would be in the 
Cape Colony; but possessing a constitution securing, to 


290 The Transvaal under British Rule. [ l8 7 8 

the utmost practicable extent, its individuality and 
powers of self-government under the sovereignty of the 

So plain a declaration left no room for further dis- 
cussion, and upon ascertaining that no European power 
was prepared to remonstrate on behalf of their cause, 
the delegates gave up hope of success, and on the 24th 
of October embarked in the mail steamer to return to 
South Africa. 

An all-important subject at this time in the Trans- 
vaal as well as in Natal was the hostile attitude of 
Ketshwayo, head of the Zulu tribe. He had played 
off one of these countries against the other as long as 
they were under different governments, but when the 
Transvaal was annexed to the British dominions he 
could do so no longer. Sir Theophilus Shepstone, too, 
who when secretary for native affairs in Natal had regarded 
himself, and been regarded by many others, as having 
powerful influence in Zululand and as being the champion 
of the chief, when he became administrator of the 
Transvaal and examined the merits of the claim to 
land made by Ketshwayo, completely changed his former 
views, and opposed the Zulu pretensions. This irritated 
Ketshwayo not a little, and he began a series of provo- 
cations which made things very unpleasant along the 

The tract of land long in dispute was that ceded by 
Ketshwayo in 1861 in return for the extradition of two of 
his fugitive brothers with their adherents and cattle, 
beaconed off in 1864 in concurrence with delegates sent 
by Panda and Ketshwayo for the purpose, and proclaimed 
part of the republic on the 25th of May 1875, by 
Acting President P. J. Joubert. When the elder of his 
brothers fled again, on this occasion into Natal, Ketsh- 
wayo considered himself a loser by the cession, and 
wanted the land restored to him, to which the republic 
would not consent. In Natal the chief's claim had been 

1877] Dealings with the Zulu Chief Ketshwayo, 291 

regarded without investigation as probably a good one, 
for the Transvaal farmers were looked upon as aggressors 
on the lands of the Bantu, and on the 29th of June 
1876 Lieutenant-Governor Sir Henry Bulwer wrote to 
Lord Carnarvon that the good faith of the Natal govern- 
ment required a settlement of the dispute. That colony 
had often before been appealed to by Ketshwayo in the 
matter, and now it was drawn directly into it. 

As far as he could do so, Ketshwayo had restored the 
military system of Tshaka, which his father Panda had 
to a large extent allowed to fall into disuse, and was 
intent upon arming his soldiers with European weapons. 
An Englishman named John Dunn, who was living in his 
country, had for some time been importing guns for him 
through Delagoa Bay, not caring what the consequences 
to Natal or the Transvaal might be, though he was draw- 
ing a salary of £300 a year from the Natal government 
for protecting Tonga labourers passing through Zululand. 
In February 1878 it was rumoured that he intended to 
import some cannon also, so her Majesty's ship Dance was 
sent to Delagoa Bay to induce the Portuguese authorities 
there to prevent it. Her commander found that no 
cannon had yet been landed, and the Portuguese governor, 
who was most friendly and fully alive to the danger of 
supplying munitions of war to a tribe like the Zulu, 
undertook that neither cannon nor small arms should 
pass through that port in future. This promise was 
faithfully kept, and so the Zulu army was less formidable 
than it would otherwise have been. 

Sir Theophilus Shepstone had not long been adminis- 
trator of the Transvaal when Ketshwayo, regarding him 
as a Zulu partisan, sent to ask him to restore the land 
along the eastern border that the Zulus wanted. This 
led to an examination into the merits of the case, with 
the result that after many messages had passed to and 
fro, it was found impossible to come to any satisfactory 


292 The Transvaal under British Rule. L l8 77 

On the 19th of October 1877 the administrator held a 
conference at the Blood river with about five hundred 
Zulus who had met to discuss the question of a boundary. 
With him were Mr. Henrique C. Shepstone, Captain 
Clarke, Mr. Gerhardus M. Eudolph, and Dr. Ash, be- 
sides an escort of forty-five mounted infantry. Umnya- 
mana, Ketshwayo's principal executive officer, was present, 
and did most of the talking on the Zulu side, though 
there were several other indunas of high rank with the 
party. They laid claim to the whole country north of 
the Tugela and Buffalo rivers and east of the Drakens- 
berg, which, they said, had once been Zulu property, 
and they wished it to be so again. This included the 
district of Utrecht, as well as the land ceded in 1861, 
and Sir T. Shepstone reminded them of the numerous 
occasions on which they had recognised the Blood river 
as the boundary, but talking was useless, for they would 
not admit anything. Before the conference closed they 
even claimed the portion of Natal between the Tugela 
and Buffalo rivers as theirs by right, and would not admit 
that Panda had ceded it to Commissioner Cloete for the 
British government. In the name of Ketshwayo they 
said the farmers must at once leave the land east of 
the Blood river. 

Direct negotiation now ceased, and another form of 
advancing their claim was resorted to by the Zulus. 
Ketshwayo instigated Umbeliai and other vassals to 
worry the white people and the Bantu clans that were 
obedient to them, while he still professed to be friendly 
and peaceably disposed. Matters soon became so threat- 
ening on the eastern border that on the 5th of December 
the administrator was obliged to request Sir Henry 
Bulwer to send some soldiers from Newcastle to Utrecht 
to give confidence to the farmers in the neighbourhood, 
and two hundred and five men of the eightieth regiment 
and two seven -pounders were accordingly forwarded 
under command of Major Tucker. 

l8 7 8 J Dealings with the Zulu Chief Ketshwayo. 293 

At this time two lawyers in Natal, Dr. James Walter 
Smith and Mr. Francis Ernest Colenso, attempted to 
interfere in the Zulu difficulty by claiming to be Ketsh- 
wayo's fully empowered agents. Sir Henry Bulwer 
naturally refused to acknowledge them as such, as there 
could be no guarantee that the chief would feel himself 
bound by any arrangements they might make, and in 
fact he actually did disown them shortly afterwards. But 
they pressed their claim to be his legal representatives 
upon the high commissioner and the secretary of state 
for the colonies, and a great deal of correspondence passed 
backward and forward on the subject, without any recog- 
nition by British officials of the position they desired to 

By the beginning of 1878 a tract of land along the 
eastern border of the Transvaal more than one hundred 
and sixty kilometres long by forty-eight kilometres wide 
had been almost abandoned by white men, owing to the 
inroads of Umbelini and the threats and menaces of 
different Zulu indunas. The administrator was residing at 
Utrecht, but could do nothing to protect the farmers. 

In January 1878 there was a likelihood of civil war 
breaking out in Zululand, which would give the Europeans 
in Natal and the Transvaal an opportunity to free them- 
selves of the danger to which they were constantly ex- 
posed by the existence of the formidable barbarian power 
on their border. Hamu, Ketshwayo's brother, was a 
man of great influence in the country, and on that account 
was regarded by the supreme chief with much jealousy. 
The soldiers were aware of this, and parties were formed 
in the usual Zulu manner, by one regiment declaring its 
absolute obedience to the head of the nation, and another 
regiment its wish to be led by his brother. Of course 
there was no talk by any one of disloyalty to Ketshwayo, 
but in the condition of things then existing rebellion could 
easily have arisen. At the annual review of the army 
at Ondine in January 1878 the ingobamakosi, one of 

294 The Transvaal under British Rule. [ l8 7 8 

Ketshwayo's most devoted and strongest regiments, picked 
a quarrel purposely with those who favoured Hamu, and 
a big fight took place, which resulted in the latter being 
driven from the field with heavy loss. Thereafter Hamu 
and his adherents used the greatest caution in their con- 
duct and language, but the Europeans in Natal and the 
Transvaal knew that they were discontented, and in 
November 1878 Hamu actually invited their alliance by 
sending word that under no circumstances would he fight 
against them. Advantage, however, was not taken by 
either government to settle the Zulu difficulty in the way 
the emigrant farmers had settled it when they aided Panda 
against Dingana. 

It was now arranged that the lieutenant-governor of 
Natal should appoint a commission to take evidence upon 
the dispute regarding the boundary and draw up a report, 
when with the high commissioner's concurrence a decision 
would be pronounced which Ketshwayo agreed to abide 
by. On the 26th of February 1878 the commission was 
appointed. It consisted of Mr. Michael Henry Gallway, 
attorney-general of Natal, Mr. John Wesley Shepstone, 
acting secretary for native affairs in Natal, and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Anthouy William Durnford, of the royal engineers. 
It was provided with a military secretary, an escort of 
twenty men of the Natal mounted police under Sub- 
Inspector Carppbell, and a competent Zulu interpreter in 
the person of Mr. Methley. The first meeting was held 
at Rorke's drift on the Buffalo river on the l'2th of 

To conduct the case on the part of the Transvaal, 
Messrs. Henrique C. Shepstone, Gerhard M. Rudolph, 
and Pieter Lavras Uys were appointed, and Ketshwayo 
sent to conduct the case for the Zulus four men possess- 
ing his confidence named Mundulu, Gebula, Sirayo, and 
Sintwangu. The commission was engaged taking evidence 
from the 12th of March to the 13th of April, and on the 
20th of June sent in its report. 

l8 7 8 ] Dealings ivith the Zulu Chief Ketshwayo. 295 

Meantime Ketshwayo had not waited for its decision, 
but was occupying portions of the territory in dispute. 
He was also showing such hostility towards mission work 
in his country, by causing converts to Christianity to be 
put to death and by encouraging his indunas to worry 
the missionaries, that they, seeing no possibility of being 
able to carry on their work, and fearing for their lives, 
thought it best to abandon tneir stations and retire to 

The Hanoverian mission was founded in Zululand in 
1858, and at this time had five stations, which were 
abandoned. The Norwegian mission dated from 1851, and 
in 1878 had nine stations, among them the celebrated 
one at Etshowe, where the reverend 0. C. Oftebro had 
long laboured. Etshowe was abandoned on the 18th of 
April, and the others a week or two later. Both these 
societies were Lutheran in creed. 

On the 28th of July 1878 two parties of Zulus under 
the leadership of Methlokazulu, Inkumbikazulu, and 
Tskekwana, sons of the chief Sirayo, and Zuluhlenga, 
Sirayo's brother, crossed the Buffalo river near Korke's 
drift in search of two fugitive wives of Sirayo, who were 
found in huts on the Natal side. The women were 
seized, despite the protests of the border guard, and were 
taken over to the northern bank of the stream, where 
they were murdered. On the 16th of August Sir Henry 
Bulwer sent a message to Ketshwayo, asking that the 
leaders of the raiding parties should be given up for 
trial in Natal. To this message a reply was received that 
the acts of Sirayo's sons were the rash acts of boys, and 
a fine of £50 was tendered, but the raiders were not 

In September two large Zulu regiments under the 
command of Dabulamanzi, a half-brother of Ketshwayo, 
paraded on the northern bank of the lower Tugela, and 
when the chief was asked what the object of massing 
troops on the border was, he replied that they were there 

296 The Transvaal under British Rule. [1878 

for hunting purposes, though there was no game in that 
part of the country. Naturally this caused much alarm. 
Every soldier that could be spared from the Cape Colony 
was at once sent to Natal, and troops were stationed at 
Grey town and Verulam. 

Ketshwaj^o's pretensions were constantly growing. In 
September 1878 he laid claim to the land north of the 
Pongolo that had been for many years in the undisputed 
possession of the Transvaal republic. In 1869 a number 
of Germans had purchased farms there, and had formed 
a settlement which they named Luneburg. Being steady 
and industrious they had prospered, and all went well 
with them until July 1878, when Ketshwayo sent a 
party of Zulus to build a kraal on their ground. Then 
Umbelini made a raid into the district, and nearly all 
the Dutch-speaking farmers in their neighbourhood thought 
it best to move away. On the 24th of September they 
wrote to Sir Bartle Frere, begging for protection, and a 
company of soldiers was sent to Luneburg to defend 
them. There were then forty-nine families of Germans in 
the locality. 

Sir Bartle Frere and Lord Chelmsford repeatedly urged 
the ministers in England to send out military reinforce- 
ments, as it was hardly possible to avoid war with the 
Zulus, and on the 21st of November Sir Michael Hicks 
Beach announced that the troops asked for would be 
supplied, " not to furnish means for a campaign of inva- 
sion and conquest, but to afford such protection as might 
be necessary at this juncture to the lives and property of 
the colonists." The ninety-ninth regiment, the second 
battalion of the fourth regiment, two companies of 
engineers, and drafts for the thirteenth, twenty-fourth, and 
eighty-eighth regiments were accordingly despatched, and 
early in January 1879 arrived in South Africa. 

The gloomy condition of the Transvaal at this time is 
reflected in the local newspapers, even in the Transvaal 
Argus, which was the government organ. The Volkstem, 

lg 78J Attitude of the Burghers. 297 

which represented the views of at least nine-tenths of the 
inhabitants, might have been published with a mourning 
border, so dark were the pictures it drew of what was 
transpiring in the country. The Goldfields Mercury, known 
in earlier days as the ablest advocate of British rule, 
the organ of the mining community and of the English 
and German residents in the villages, in April 1878 
ceased to appear, sorrowfully regretting in its last issue 
that the policy it favoured had not been a success. 

The return of Messrs. Kruger and Joubert from Eng- 
land with a report that their mission had been unsuccess- 
ful added to the general feeling of despondency, and 
strengthened the resolution of the farmers to continue in 
an attitude of passive resistance and not to cooperate in 
any way whatever with the new authorities. The only 
indication of any change for the better having been brought 
about by the annexation was in the increased value of 
land in certain localities, caused by an influx of English 
traders and speculators, including a few farmers. British 
capital, though to a small amount, was introduced, and 
men of the commercial class began to express an opinion 
that this of itself justified the annexation, if it could not 
be defended on other grounds. 

Sir T. Shepstone had promised that representative insti- 
tutions would be conferred upon the country, but this 
had not been done, and indeed could not be, because 
every one in England as well as in South Africa knew 
perfectly well that the first act of an elected assembly 
would be a resolution in favour of independence. And so 
on the eve of the greatest struggle between white men 
and black men that South Africa had ever seen, the 
farmers of the Transvaal, bitterly resenting their being 
placed under an autocratic government, sullenly looked on 
and abstained from taking any part in a matter that was 
really to them one of supreme importance. 



Much has been written and said to indicate that war 
with the Zulus was unjustifiable on the part of the 
British authorities in South Africa, that difficulties greater 
than those caused by Ketshwayo are frequently settled 
with states in other parts of the world without recourse 
to the arbitrament of the sword, that the Dutch-speaking 
people of the Transvaal believed it was unrighteous, as 
with very few exceptions they declined to take part in it, 
and that it was forced on by arbitrary and hostile acts 
on the European side. The official documents of course 
give a very different view of the matter. 

Put, for instance, side by side the despatches of Sir 
Bartle Frere and the History of the Zulu War and its 
Origin by Miss Frances Ellen Colenso and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Edward Durnford — a book written with great care 
and knowledge of the subject, but with a strong bias in 
favour of Ketshwayo and antipathy to the Transvaal 
farmers, — together with Miss Colenso's The Bum of Zulu- 
land : an Account of British Doings in Zululand since the 
Invasion of 1879, and it will at once be seen that they 
cannot be made to agree. Their spirit is entirely different. 
Further research then becomes imperative, for official 
documents, though indispensable in writing history, can- 
not always be implicitly relied on, and usually need 
supplementing. In this instance too those published in 
the imperial bluebooks are so mixed with other papers as 
to make it difficult to follow them, and the Zulu names 
are so misspelt that in some instances it is almost 

l8 7 8 ] The Zulu War. 299 

impossible to identify them. Indeed, one might easily be 
led to believe that they were published as they stand 
purposely to prevent correct information being obtained 
from them.* 

Any one who views the matter from both sides will 
hardly deny that while a highly trained Zulu army of 
forty or fifty thousand men, always ready to move at an 
hour's notice, was maintained within easy striking distance, 
there could be no security for life or property in either 
Natal or the Transvaal, and anything like the progress 
of other British colonies was impossible for them. Ketsh- 
wayo may have had a perfect legal right to do as he 
chose in his own country, to maintain a huge army in a 
territory nearly enclosed by British possessions;- but he 
cannot have had a moral right to be a perpetual menace 
to others. It is true that he had not the military genius 
of his uncle Tshaka, nor the lust for blood of that ruth- 
less exterminator of the tribes far and near, but dependent 
as he was for his position upon an army always 
clamouring to be allowed to show its prowess, to "wash 
its spears " in its own phraseology, he could have been 
compelled at any time, even against his own inclination, 
to make war upon one or other of his neighbours. He 
was an exceedingly able man for a barbarian, and accord- 
ing to Bantu opinion was merciful and benevolent, but 
he had only a barbarian's idea of the sanctity of his 

* In the History of the Zulu War by the honourable A. Wilmot, 
F.R.G.S., an account opposed in sentiment to that of Miss Colenso 
will be found, and in Charles L. Norris-Newman's In Zululand with 
the British throughout the War of 1879 a narrative of events from 
the pen of an eyewitness is obtained. Fleet Surgeon Henry F. 
Norbury's The Naval Brigade in South Africa during the Years 
1877-78-79 is of high importance. Its author was one of those 
beleaguered in Etshowe, where he was the principal medical officer, 
and for occurrences there at that time he is the only authority. 
Captain Henry Hallam Parr's Sketch of the Kafir and Zulu Wars, 
Ouadana to Isandhlwana, ends with the great disaster. He was with 
Lord Chelmsford during the day, and passed the night on the field of 

300 History of South Africa. [ l8 7 8 

word, and consequently he could not be dealt with in 
exactly the same way as a civilised ruler. As for the 
abstention of the Dutch-speaking people of the Transvaal 
from taking part in the war, the reason for their acting 
in this manner had nothing to do with its justice or 
injustice : to them it was simply not their war, but one 
made by a government which they wished to be indepen- 
dent of. And as to arbitrary and hostile acts, as much, 
or nearly as much, forbearance was shown as was con- 
sistent with a determination to destroy a permanent 

On the 18th of September 1878 Sir Bartle Frere left 
Capetown in the steamer Courland, and landed at Durban 
on the 26th. The report of the boundary commission 
had been delivered to Sir Henry Bulwer on the 20th of 
June, but on reading the evidence on which it professed 
to be based, the decision appeared to the high commis- 
sioner to be extremely partial. Much of the evidence in 
favour of the Transvaal was rejected, as it seemed to 
him, on insufficient grounds, some documents because 
they were written m. correct Dutch — the commissioners 
not being aware that all documents of an official nature 
were supposed to be in proper Dutch, — and others 
because they did not meet the full requirements of 
Koman-Dutch law. The report was in consequence so 
favourable to the Zulus that it recommended as a 
boundary the Blood river from its confluence with the 
Buffalo upward to its main source in the Magidela 
mountains, and thence in a direct line to the round hill 
between the two main sources of the Pongolo river in 
the Drakensberg. 

The high commissioner did not feel justified in acting 
upon this report without further enquiry, and it was sent 
to Sir Theophilus Shepstone, with a request that he 
would give his opinion upon it. He criticised it very 
■rely, and pointed out its partiality to the Zulus in 
much stronger language than Sir Bartle Frere had used 

:8 7 8 ] The Zulu War. 


in his memorandum. Mr. Henrique C. Shepstone also 
commented very unfavourably upon it. 

On his arrival in Natal the high commissioner, who 
had come to the conclusion that he must adopt the 
report though he could not agree with it, immediately 
realised that there were other matters in connexion with 
the Zulus of even greater importance than the settle- 
ment Of their western boundary line. The colonists were 
almost in a panic owing to the presence of the division 
of the Zulu army under Dabulamanzi on their border, 
and its absurd excuse for making a demonstration there. 
The first thing to be done, and that without a moment's 
delay, was to put the colony in the best possible 
condition for defence. 

As soon as it could be done, the following military 
arrangements were carried out. The second battalion of 
the third regiment, with two field guns, was stationed at 
a position within an easy march of the right bank of the 
lower Tugela, where earthworks named Fort Pearson 
were constructed to command the passage of the river, 
the second battalion of the twenty-fourth, with six field 
guns, was stationed at Greytown, the ninetieth, with 
four field guns, was kept at Utrecht, the first battalion 
of the thirteenth, with two field guns, was sent to 
Middelburg and Derby, and seven companies of the first 
battalion of the twenty-fourth were stationed at Help- 
makaar, the other company being at Port St. John's. 
Commodore Sullivan was requested to give all the assist- 
ance that he could, and on the 19th of November one 
hundred and seventy-two officers and men of the Active 
were landed at Durban under command of Captain H. 
Fletcher Campbell, and marched without delay to Fort 
Pearson, which they reached on the 24th. They took 
with them two rocket tubes, a gatling, and two other 
field guns. A party of three officers and fifty-eight men 
from the Tenedos followed on the 1st of January 1879. 
Four hundred Natal mounted volunteers and the mounted 

3<D2 History of South Africa. L l8 7^ 

police, one hundred and twenty-five in number, were 
called out to act as cavalry, and seven thousand and 
seventy Natal blacks were enrolled in seven battalions 
with six hundred and sixty-five European commissioned 
and non-commissioned officers obtained in the Cape 
Colony, mostly men who had served during the recent 
rebellion. Nineteen hundred and sixty-five Natal blacks 
were also enrolled to serve various purposes, many of 
them being mounted. The frontier light horse, under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Redvers Buller, was enlarged by means 
of recruits obtained in the eastern districts of the Cape 
Colony, and two hundred and eight men were obtained 
from the diamond fields to fill the vacancies caused by 
others leaving whose term of service had expired. 

These military arrangements could not escape the notice 
of Ketshwayo, and his army too was placed in readiness 
for immediate action. 

When the preparations were completed, a request was 
forwarded to the Zulu chief to send delegates to the 
lower Tugela drift to receive the decision regarding the 
disputed boundary with the Transvaal and a message 
from the high commissioner on other matters. On the 
morning of the 11th of December 1878 the Zulu 
delegates crossed to the Natal side of the Tugela at the 
place indicated, and were received under an awning by 
the officials deputed to deliver the decisions. These 
officials were Mr. John Wesley Shepstone, secretary for 
native affairs in Natal, Mr. Charles Brownlee, commis- 
sioner for native affairs in the Cape Colony, Mr. Henry 
Francis Fynn, resident magistrate of the Umsinga 
division in Natal, and Lieutenant-Colonel Forestier 
Walker, of the Scots guards. There were also a number 
of other gentlemen present, but not in an official 
capacity, and several Bantu chiefs residing in Natal 
were there out of curiosity. There were three principal 
and eleven subordinate Zulu envoys, who were accom- 
panied by forty or fifty attendants. With them was the 

:8 7 8 ] The Zttlu War. 


Englishman John Dunn, one of Ketshwayo's chieftains, 
but who came only as a spectator. 

The decision concerning the boundary given by Sir 
Henry Bulwer in the name of the high commissioner 
was first read in English, and then in Zulu by Mr. 
Fynney, the interpreter. It was that the line should be 
from the junction of the Buffalo and Blood rivers along 
the Blood river to its principal source in the Magidela 
mountains, and thence direct to the round hill between 
the two main sources of the Pongolo river in the 
Drakensberg, thus assigning to the Zulus land that had 
been in possession of white men for sixteen years. Of 
course it was the unoccupied portion in full possession 
and only the sovereignty over the remainder that was 
transferred, as it was intended that the rights of indi- 
viduals to private property should remain undisturbed, 
so that those farmers whose titles were good and who 
might not choose to remain on their ground as subjects 
of Ketshwayo should receive ample compensation from him 
before they left. 

So far the award was in favour of the Zulus, but it 
was added that in the territory thus assigned to them 
the old hunting road and the road between Utrecht and 
Luneburg were to remain open, that is free for use by 
white people as well as black, and that Zulu sovereignty 
did not extend beyond the Pongolo river. Copies of the 
award were given in both languages to the Zulu envoys. 
They did not seem dissatisfied on not getting the 
Drakensberg as their boundary, though one of them, 
Gebula, remarked that all the waters running eastward 
belonged to them, and that they had also territory north 
of the Pongolo. 

The proceedings were then adjourned until the after- 
noon, when the parties met again, and the most important 
business of the day was transacted by the following 
demands upon Ketshwayo being made in the name of 
th a high commissioner: 

304 History of South Africa. [1878 

That Methlokazulu, Inkumbikazulu, and Tshekwana, 
sons of Sirayo, and Zuluhlenga, Sirayo's brother, who 
had seized two women on Natal soil, taken them across 
the Buffalo river, and murdered them, should be sur- 
rendered for trial within twenty days, and that a fine 
of five hundred head of cattle should be paid within 
the same time in consideration of their not having been 
surrendered when Sir Henry Bulwer first sent to ask 
for them. 

That a fine of one hundred head of cattle should be 
paid for interference with two white men by a party of 
fifteen Zulus at Middle Drift on the Tugela. 

That the marauder Umbelini should be surrendered to 
be tried and punished for his crimes. 

That the Zulu military system should be done away 
with, and the army be disbanded, every man being left 
free to marry whenever he chose. 

That every Zulu accused of crime should be properly 
tried before being punished, and that no one should be 
put to death before being allowed to appeal to the head 
of the nation. (This was a promise made by Ketshwayo 
when he was inducted as ruler by Mr. T. Shepstone, 
but there is much diversity of opinion as to whether 
it was subsequently observed or not. The number of 
individuals put to death under Ketshwayo's government 
on charges of dealing in witchcraft is also a disputed 
matter, but even taking the highest estimate as correct, it 
was very small indeed when compared with the butcheries 
of Dingana). 

That the missionaries should be permitted to return 
to Zululand and resume their labours. 

And that a British resident should be stationed in 

A reply to these demands was required within thirty 

Practically this was equivalent to a declaration of war, 
for it could hardly be supposed that Ketshwayo would 

1879] The Zulu War. 


agree to such terms. Certainly the Zulu envoys to 
whom fche ultimatum was delivered did not, for their 
consternation on hearing it was visible — despite the 
command they had over their countenances, — and their 
remarks upon it were significant. 

And yet what less could Sir Bartle Frere have de- 
manded, if the safety of Natal and the Transvaal was 
to be secured without the permanent retention of a 
powerful imperial military force in South Africa ? The 
disbandment of his army meant the reduction of 
Ketshwayo to the position of an ordinary Bantu chief, 
and to this he could not be expected to consent, but it 
was a necessity for his European neighbours. The 
question was simply whether civilisation or barbarism 
was to prevail in the country. Good government, at 
any rate to a certain extent, was necessary also to 
prevent the flight of people constantly into the British 
possessions. It was not supposed that in a country 
without prisons the death penalty, would be as rarely 
inflicted as in a civilised state, but if individuals were 
protected from slaughter without first undergoing trial, 
there would be some little security for life. 

Even at this time the Zulu power was greatly under- 
rated by the military officers. It was known to be far 
more formidable than that of any other Bantu com- 
munity in South Africa, yet it was supposed that six or 
eight British battalions with the available local forces 
would be able to compete with it. A few hundred 
Dutch farmers, it was said, had overthrown Dingana, 
surely it would not be much more -difficult to deal with 
Ketshwayo, even if many of his soldiers were armed 
with European weapons. It was supposed too that the 
tribe would be divided, and a portion of it be at least 
neutral, if it did not actually take part with the Europeans. 
It was forgotten that foreign war frequently welds a 
people together, that internal discord disappears when 
national feeling is strongly excited. 


306 History of South Africa. [ l8 79 

The only notice taken by Ketshwayo of the communica- 
tions delivered to his envoys was a request for more time 
sent by John Dunn, so on the 4th of January 1879 the 
high commissioner placed the enforcement of his demands 
that were to be complied with before the expiration of 
twenty daj^s in the hands of Lieutenant-General Lord 
Chelmsford, the commander of the British forces in 
South Africa 

The authorities in England were opposed to war with 
the Zulus, if it could by any possibility be avoided, and Sir 
Bartle Frere had not referred the terms of his ultimatum 
to them for decision before making his demands upon 
Ketshwayo, nor did he wait for their approval before 
commencing hostilities. There were two strong reasons 
for thus acting with haste. The first was that as it 
was then the rainy season, the Buffalo and Tugela 
rivers were in flood and formed a line of defence for 
Natal, whereas if hostilities were postponed to the dry 
season they could be, forded almost anywhere by a Zulu 
invading army. The second was that the Zulus were 
then short of food, and it would be imprudent to wait 
until the maize in their gardens was ripe. 

The only Zulus who had abandoned the cause of their 
tribe before this time were those under John Dunn. 
When war became certain, Dunn informed the British 
general that he wished to remain neutral, but upon 
receiving a reply that such a position was impossible, 
he made up his mind to be on the side that was sure 
to win. His kraals were opposite Fort Pearson on the 
other side of the Tugela. His people were obedient to 
him, and on the 31st of December they began to be 
ferried over to the Natal side. There the men were 
required to surrender their firearms, and were then sent 
to a suitable place to remain till the war was ended. 
They took their cattle with them, and also a supply of 
maize, so that they cost the Natal government nothing 
for their maintenance. "With the women and children 

^79] The Zulu War. 307 

Dunn's Zulus numbered several thousand souls, over 
whom he had acquired absolute control. He dressed as 
a European, and in other respects lived in a semi- 
civilised manner, but had numerous wives and female 
companions after the manner of a Bantu chief, and 
ruled his people according to Bantu law. He was not 
regarded by Ketshwayo as a military induna, but as a 
semi-independent vassal like Umbelini and some others. 

The plan of operations decided upon by Lord Chelms- 
ford was to invade Zululand with four separate columns 
moving from as many different points, driving the enemy 
before them, and meeting at Ulundi, where he antici- 
pated a stand would be made, which would enable him 
to strike a decisive blow. 

The first column, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Pearson, consisted of seven hundred and eighty-three men 
of the second battalion of the third Buffs, under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Parnell, five hundred and eighty men 
of the ninety-ninth, ■ under Lieutenant-Colonel Welman, 
one hundred and seventy-two men of the ship Active, 
with three gatling guns, under Captain Campbell, one 
hundred and ninety mounted infantry, under Captain 
Barrow, one hundred and eighty-four Natal mounted 
volunteers, one hundred and four royal engineers, under 
Captain Wynne, thirty artillerymen, under Lieutenant 
Lloyd, with two seven-pounder guns, two battalions of 
Natal blacks, together two thousand two hundred and 
forty men, under Major Graves and Commandant Nettle- 
ton, and one hundred and two Natal Bantu pioneers, 
under Captain Beddoes. A pontoon was placed on the 
Tugela, and on the 10th of January the troops com- 
menced to cross the river. By the 15th all were over, 
the passage being unopposed, and a camp was formed 
on the Zulu side. 

The following notification was made as widely known 
as possible, but could not be communicated to many 
Zulus, to none of the regiments indeed, for they were 

308 History of South Africa. [ x §79 

already mustering at Ulundi, Ketshwayo's residence, to 
receive orders as to their movements : — 

" 11 January 1879. 

" The British forces are crossing into Zululand to exact 
from Ketshwayo reparation for violations of British terri- 
tory committed by the sons of Sirayo and others, and to 
enforce compliance with the promises made by Ketshwayo 
at his coronation for the better government of his people. 

" The British government has no quarrel with the Zulu 
people. All Zulus who come in unarmed, or who lay 
down their arms, will be provided for till the troubles of 
their country are over, and will then, if they please, be 
allowed to return to their own land; but all who do not 
so submit will be dealt with as enemies. 

"When the war is finished, the British government will 
make the best arrangements in its power for the future 
good government of the Zulus in their own country, in 
peace and quietness, and will not permit the killing and 
oppression they have suffered from Ketshwayo to continue. 
" H. B. E. Frere, High Commissioner." 

The column left a small garrison in Fort Pearson, 
which was to be the base of supplies, and constructed 
an earthwork named Fort Tenedos on the northern bank 
of the river, where the men belonging to the ship of that 
name were left when in the morning of the 18th the 
main body moved on. It was accompanied by a long 
train of ox-waggons, conveying tents and camp equipage, 
provisions, ammunition, hospital stores, and other articles 
that might be needed. 

On the 21st the military kraal at Ginginhlovu was 
burnt without resistance, the regiment usually quartered 
there being absent at the time. 

At eight o'clock in the morning of the 22nd, when 
halting for breakfast on the high ground beyond the | 
Inyezane river, the head of the column was suddenly I 
attacked by a Zulu army about five thousand strong, and a 
sharp action, which lasted an hour and a half, took place. 


18 79] The Zulu War. 309 

The Zulus were armed with good rifles, but their fire was 
very ineffective, and they were unable to get to close 
quarters, where they could have used their stabbing 
assagais. When they retired they left over three hundred 
of their number dead on the ground, but they had killed 
nine white men and wounded fifteen others. 

On the following morning at ten o'clock, after a march 
of thirty-seven miles or fifty-nine kilometres from Fort 
Tenedos, the column reached the abandoned Norwegian 
mission station Etshowe, and formed a camp, where on 
the 26th it received information that another division of 
the British forces had met with a terrible disaster, so 
that further advance was impossible. 

On the 21st of January eighty waggons laden with 
biscuit, tinned provisions, and maize for the horses left 
Fort Tenedos, escorted by three companies of the ninety- 
ninth regiment under Lieutenant-Colonel Ely, to increase 
Colonel Pearson's stores. On the way it was necessary to 
abandon eight waggons which stuck fast in the mud, and 
which were shortly afterwards pillaged by the enemy, but 
with the remainder of the convoy Colonel Ely arrived at 
Etshowe on the 29th. 

Colonel Pearson then sent most of the black auxiliaries 
with him, the cavalry, the waggon drivers, and as many 
of the ninety-ninth as he could spare back to the forts 
on the Tugela, in order to economise his supply of food, 
and that they might assist to protect Natal from 

Of the oxen that had drawn the waggons, those in the 
best condition were retained for slaughter purposes, and 
the others, six hundred and fifty in number, were driven 
towards Natal, but were captured by Zulus on the way. 
The blacks with them made their escape, and most of 
them reached the Tugela safely, those who did not flee 
in that direction managing to get back to Etshowe. 

There were now left under Colonel Pearson's command 
one thousand three hundred and ninety-seven Europeans 

310 History of South Africa. [i 8 7<) 

and four hundred and sixty-one blacks. The mission pre- 
mises were found intact, and consisted of a church, which 
was turned into a hospital, a dwelling house, and a large 
school building, which were converted into commissariat 
stores. The verandah of the dwelling house became the 
quarters of the officers of the naval brigade. The waggons 
were drawn up in a hollow square enclosing these build- 
ings, and were covered with tarpaulins, under which the 
garrison slept. Outside of all a moat three metres wide 
and two metres deep was dug, the earth and clay taken 
out being made into a broad flat-topped bank with a 
parapet, so that the position could not be stormed by 
the Zulus. 

There was a tower to the mission church, which formed 
an excellent look-out station, and after a time communi- 
cation with Natal was opened from the top of a high hill 
not far off by means of flash signals. Though parties of 
Zulus frequently hovered around, and kept the garrison on 
the alert, Colonel Pearson held this position until the arrival 
of reinforcements in Natal enabled Lord Chelmsford again 
to take the field. 

The second column consisted of three battalions of 
Natal blacks on foot and five troops of Batlokua 
mounted, with a rocket battery worked by Europeans, 
and was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Durnford, of 
the royal engineers. It was stationed at first at Middle 
Drift on the Tugela, but a little later Colonel Durnford 
with the cavalry and the rocket battery was required to 
act elsewhere, as will presently be related. 

The third column was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Glynn, and consisted of seven hundred men of the first 
battalion of the twenty-fourth regiment, eight hundred 
men of the second battalion of the same regiment, two., 
hundred Natal volunteers, one hundred and fifty Natal 
mounted police, a squadron of mounted infantry, sonic 
artillerymen with six seven-pounder guns, a company 
royal engineers, a company of Natal Bantu pioneers, 

879] The Zulu War, 


two battalions of Natal blacks under Commandant Bupert 
Latrobe Lonsdale. Lord Chelmsford with his staff 
accompanied this column, which crossed the Buffalo at 
Korke's drift on the 11th of January, and formed a 
temporary camp on the northern bank. 

There were no roads in the country beyond, and 
very heavy rains had fallen, so that the valleys and flats 
were all like swamps. Every possible exertion was made to 
construct a passable roadway, but the ox-waggons accom- 
panying the column, over a hundred in number, could 
not advance until the 20th of the month, when the 
column marched to a locality selected for a halt, ten 
English miles or sixteen kilometres from the place of 
starting. It was at the foot of a prominent hill or crag, 
called by the Zulus Isandhlwana, which means the little 
hand. Meantime the kraal of the chief Sirayo, which 
was only six kilometres and a half from Korke's drift, 
was taken and burnt by an advance party, after an 
engagement in which some thirty Zulus were killed, 
though only three Natal blacks fell and one soldier was 
wounded. The cause of this inequality of casualties was 
the bad firing of the Zulus. Thirteen horses, four hun- 
dred and thirteen head of horned cattle, and five hundred 
and sixty-seven sheep and goats were secured as booty 
at Sirayo's kraal. 

At Isandhlwana a camp was formed, that is tents were 
pitched, but there was no entrenching of any kind, and the 
waggons were not even drawn together to form a lager. 
The general had been strongly advised by Mr. Paul Kruger 
to be very careful always to form lagers when halting 
on a march, and to keep scouts constantly in all direc- 
tions.* This counsel was received with pleasantry, with 

* This is the only mention of a warning given to Lord Chelmsford 
to be found in the imperial bluebooks, but at least one other South 
African farmer gave similar advice. In a narrative of the dealings 
of the Uys family with the Zulus published in the Friend of the 
Free State, Mr. J. J. Uys wrote : " On the 16th of January 1879 I 
was in the camp of General Thesiger at Korke's Drift. The General 

312 History of South Africa. [ l8 79 

the kind of feeling that made Cervantes' duchess find 
amusement in the remarks of Sancho Panza. It was so 
comical that an unlettered boer should advise a British 
officer of high rank on a military matter. But one of 
the greatest tragedies in South African history, the 
tragedy of Isandhlwana, would not have been enacted if 
that advice had been taken. 

As soon as the column crossed the Buffalo, swift 
runners who had been watching its movements con- 
veyed the tidings to Ulundi, and the Umbonambi, 
Umcityu, Undi, Nokenke, and Ngobamakosi corps, con- 
taining regiments which were the very flower of the 
Zulu army, were selected by Ketshwayo to oppose it. 
These corps when in full strength mustered over thirty 
thousand men, but a very careful weeding out now took 
place, and only about twenty-three or twenty-four 
thousand of the fittest were retained. Two smaller 
armies, each of about five thousand men, were at the 
same time sent against the columns under Colonels 
Pearson and Wood, and the remainder of the Zulu forces 
were retained close to Ulundi, as it was believed that 
an attack might be made either from Delagoa Bay or 
from some part of the coast where soldiers could be 
landed from ships. The largest of the Zulu armies, 
which was directed to destroy Lord Chelmsford's column, 
marched at once, and moving without any encumbrances, 
during the night of the 21st January occupied the ravines 
behind a ridge of hills, the nearest of which was about 
was very kind to us. He saw that our horses were offsaddled, and 
we breakfasted with him. I said to the General: 'Be on your guard 
and be careful. I have knowledge of the deceit and treachery of 
the Zulu nation. Trek into Zululand with two lagers close to each 
other. Place your spies far out, and form your waggons into a round 
lager. The Zulus are more dangerous than you think. I lost my 
father and my brother through them, because we held them too 
cheaply. Afterwards we went with Andries Pretorius, but then we 
were careful, and always closed our waggons well up, sent our spies 
far out, and we beat the Zulus.' The General smiled and said that 
he thought it was not necessary." 

l8 79] The Zulu War. 3I3 

a mile and a half or a little over two kilometres from 
the British camp, where it lay concealed for hours 
without a single scout observing it. 

In the morning of the 21st most of the Natal 
volunteers and mounted police under Major Dartnell, 
with the larger part of Lonsdale's two battalions of Natal 
blacks under Commandants Browne and Cooper, were 
sent on to a hill fifteen or sixteen kilometres in 
advance, to inspect the country, and if possible to attack 
the kraal of the chief Matshana. Two companies of 
each of these battalions were left at the camp. In the 
evening Major Dartnell sent back word that there were 
many Zulus in his neighbourhood, that the patrol would 
bivouac for the night where it then was, and that rein- 
forcements were needed to enable him to attack the 
enemy. At two o'clock the next morning, Wednesday, 
the 22nd of January 1879, Lord Chelmsford gave 
instructions that a body of troops should be ready to 
march as soon as it was light enough to see the way, 
and at the same time sent a message to Colonel Durnford, 
who had been moved up from Middle Drift to the north 
bank of the Buffalo river at Eorke's drift, with his 
mounted men and rocket battery to advance at once to 
Isandhlwana, and take command of the camp there. 
Colonel Durnford carried out these instructions, and 
arrived at Isandhlwana about ten o'clock or a few 
minutes later. 

At early dawn Lord Chelmsford himself with his staff 
accompanied the troops that went out to assist those in 
advance, consisting of six companies of the second twenty- 
fourth under Colonel Glynn, the mounted infantry, most 
of the artillerymen with four of the field guns, and the 
Natal Bantu pioneers. Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine, of the 
first twenty-fourth, was left in command of the camp 
until Colonel Durnford should arrive, with instructions to 
draw in his infantry pickets and defend it if it should 
be attacked. 

314 History of South Africa. [1879 

At about half past six Lord Chelmsford's party came 
in sight of a body of Zulus, who apparently fell back, 
and did not even attempt to make a stand in strong 
positions where it might have caused trouble. It was 
followed for three hours, and then it suddenly disappeared, 
having completed its task, which was to draw the British 
force to a distance from the camp. 

The Zulu army which was lying in wait did not 
intend to attack so soon, but a portion of the Umcityu 
corps happened to be seen by a picket about half past 
nine in the morning, when the whole corps, believing 
its position was discovered, suddenly showed itself. The 
picket fell back, but when Colonel Durnford arrived a 
little later, he advanced with his mounted men to meet 
the Zulus, and a sharp action followed. Whether he 
should not have remained at the camp, taken measures 
for its protection, and acted entirely on the defensive 
has been questioned. The general maintained afterwards 
that his instructions were to that effect, and had been 
disobeyed, but certainly Lord Chelmsford had done nothing 
himself to protect the camp before he left it, had not 
even caused a waggon barricade to be formed. Companies 
of infantry and guns were sent out to Colonel Durnford' s 
support, and many hundreds of the enemy were killed, 
but they seemed to be regardless of death, and kept 
pressing on in order to come to close combat, when they 
could use their stabbing spears, as they soon realised that 
the fire from their rifles was doing very little harm. The 
troops were obliged to fall back towards the camp, but 
did so in good order, and kept up their fire as long as 
their ammunition lasted. 

The left wing of the Zulu army was now extended to 
enclose the British force on one side, while a horn 
from the right wing was thrown out rapidly back of the 
hill to complete the circle. The black troops, on seeing 
this, became panic-stricken, and tried to flee, leaving 
vacant places between parties of Europeans, into which 

:8 79] The Zulu War. 


the Zulus pressed. A hand to hand fight followed, in 
which great numbers of the enemy fell, but which ended 
in the death of every white man who was not mounted 
on a horse. Companies of soldiers stood at bay and fought 
desperately till their ammunition was expended, when they 
tried to defend themselves with their bayonets, but in vain, 
for the Zulus could then make use of their rifles. The 
position of the bodies when Isandhlwana was visited and 
carefully inspected nearly four months later showed that 
the troops and the volunteers stood together in parties 
and died as became brave men. The last to fall was a 
company of the twenty-fourth, who managed to get to a 
position high up on the hill side, where they could not 
be surrounded, and where they stood facing their foe till 
their cartridges were spent and they could do no more. 
The Zulus gave no quarter. 

There was but one path of escape, along a narrow steep- 
sided gully, with Zulus lining both banks, and into it 
the horsemen plunged. But it was crowded with black 
fugitives, and the Zulus poured into it, using their spears 
with terrible effect. The pursuit was continued all the 
way to the Buffalo river, which was reached about eight 
kilometres below Eorke's drift, and was even continued to 
the southern bank, some of the fugitives being killed in the 
stream, while others were drowned when trying to cross. 
Among those who reached Natal was Lieutenant Teign- 
mouth Melvill, of the first twenty-fourth, who was trying 
to save the colours of his regiment. He lost his horse and 
the colours in the river, and would have been drowned, 
had not Lieutenant Nevill Coghill, who had reached the 
southern bank, plunged in again and rescued him. But 
they had only got a short distance from the bank when 
they were overtaken by Zulus, and both were killed, 
though not without selling their lives dearly as was 
ascertained from the number of black corpses that lay 
beside them. The colours, that had slipped from 
Lieutenant Melvill's grasp when he was struggling in 

316 History of South Africa. [ l8 79 

the water, were found ten days later in the river, and 
were restored to the remnant of the regiment. 

Only about forty Europeans escaped of all that were 
encamped at Isandhlwana that morning. The army lists 
giving the names of those who perished make the number 
to be fifty officers and seven hundred and seventy-six 
non-commissioned officers and rank and file, composed of 
two officers and sixty-one men of the royal artillery, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Durnford, two other officers, and four 
men of the royal engineers, Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine, 
fifteen other officers, and four hundred and five men of 
the first battalion of the twenty-fourth regiment, six 
officers and one hundred and sixty-eight men of the 
second battalion of the twenty-fourth regiment, three men 
of the army service corps, one officer and ten men of the 
army hospital corps, one officer and one man of the army 
medical department, thirteen men of the mounted infantry, 
twenty-six men of the Natal mounted police, two officers 
and twenty men of the Natal carbineers, two officers and 
five men of the Newcastle mounted rifles, three men of 
the Buffalo border guard, and seventeen commissioned and 
fifty-seven non-commissioned officers of the Bantu con- 

But these were not the only white men who perished. 
There were at Isandhlwana many European waggon drivers 
and camp followers of various descriptions, whose names 
were not on the army rolls, and whose number there 
were no means of ascertaining. Not one of them escaped. 
About eight hundred Bantu connected with the various 
contingents also lost their lives, but some of the black 
horsemen and of the fleetest of the footmen managed to 
get away. 

Much of the booty that could not be easily removed 
was destroyed by the Zulus, but they gathered spoil in 
oxen, military stores, rifles, and ammunition that was of 
great value to them. They destroyed the rocket tubes, 
but did not attempt to remove the two field guns that 

l8 79] The Zulu War. 3i; 

fell into their hands. With as much of the spoil as 
could be carried away the greater part of the Zulu 
army left Isandhlwana before sunset to report to Ketsh- 
wayo at Ulundi what had been done, and actually 
passed Lord Chelmsford on the way without being 

The loss of life by the Zulus at Isandhlwana was 
enormous, amounting according to the most careful 
estimates to fully three thousand five hundred men, or one 
out of every six engaged. Some of the regiments had 
suffered so severely that their officers were afraid to appear 
before Ketshwayo, and instead of returning to Ulundi 
marched to their respective kraals. They had killed those 
of their own wounded who were mortally injured, and 
carried off the others with them. It was some time before 
the chief came to learn the extent of his losses, and when 
at length the truth became known to' him, he must have 
realised that a few more such victories as that at 
Isandhlwana would ruin him. It was this, more than 
anything else, that deterred him from attempting to invade 

A little after ten o'clock in the morning of the 22nd a 
communication from Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine was re- 
ceived by Lord Chelmsford that a body of Zulus was close 
to the camp, but no one attached any importance to the 
message, as all interest was centred in the party the 
detachment thought it was pursuing. It was the appear- 
ance of the Umcityu corps that was reported, and perhaps 
if the detachment had returned at once, the great disaster 
might have been averted. But no one either at Isan- 
dhlwana or on the march to Matshana's kraal then 
imagined that the Umcityu was only a section of a large 
army lying concealed in the hills, and as Colonel Pulleine 
did not say he needed help, no one thought he might 
require it. Instructions were sent to him to forward the 
equipage and stores of the advance party, which would 
form a camp where it was, but when these orders reached 

318 History of Sotith Africa. t l8 79 

him he was so hard pressed by the enemy that he could 
not attempt to carry them out. 

Three hours later while the general was selecting a place 
to bivouac for the night about seventeen or eighteen kilo- 
metres from Isandhlwana, the sound of heavy firing was 
heard by some sharp ears, but not much attention was 
paid to it at the time, though at two o'clock in the 
afternoon Lord Chelmsford, taking with him forty 
mounted volunteers, rode back towards the camp to obtain 
a view of it from an elevated spot. The air was clear, and 
though warm, not so intensely hot as to cause objects at a 
distance to quiver, yet nothing alarming was seen through 
the field glasses, and the only thing noticeable by any of 
the observers was that one of them thought that the oxen 
had been driven in to carry out the instructions to send 
the camp equipage on. It is almost incredible, but what 
he mistook for oxen was the black mass of Zulus that 
had just completed the work of death. 

At four o'clock a man on an almost exhausted horse 
rode up to Lieutenant-Colonel Crealock, the general's 
secretary, and gave him the terrible information that the 
Zulus were in possession of the camp. It was Com- 
mandant Lonsdale, who had ridden away from his regiment 
in pursuit of a mounted Zulu, and got so near the camp 
that he thought he would visit it. He was actually close 
to the tents before he discovered what had occurred, and 
barely managed to save his life by putting his horse to 
its utmost speed. 

Orders were at once sent to Colonel Glynn, who was 
arranging to bivouac for the night, to hasten back to 
Isandhlwana with all the forces sent out on that and the 
preceding day, but night had already set in when the fatal 
place was reached. There, among the bodies of their 
dead comrades mixed with those of three or four times as 
many Zulus, in the debris of damaged waggons, bales of 
forage, bags of corn cut open, broken biscuit boxes, and 
all the other material that had been wrecked, Lord 

l8 79] The Zulu War. 3I9 

Chelmsford and the men with him bivouacked that night. 
They had some food, but were almost without ammuni- 
tion, and they dared not attempt to light a fire or even 
strike a match lest their position might be betrayed to an 
enemy on the watch. 

To avoid the demoralisation that would be caused by 
such a sight as the locality must present, the general 
resumed the march to Eorke's drift before daylight on the 
23rd, though he had very little hope that the post there 
was still in existence. Nothing of any importance occurred 
on the way, but when the station came in sight the 
hospital was seen to be burning, which caused the greatest 
dejection, as it was supposed that the post must have 
fallen. A little later, however, to the intense joy of every 
one, a soldier was seen standing on the wall of bags of 
maize and making signals, upon which the whole of the 
little garrison showed itself. Surely that sight must have 
been to the men retreating with Lord Chelmsford what 
the sight of the Euxine was to the renowned ten 
thousand, for if the post had been destroyed nearly all 
of them must have perished. 

The preservation of the post at Korke's drift was due 
to its having been lagered, a precaution that would have 
saved the force at Isandhlwana, where far better materials 
were at hand. The place was a mission station of the 
Swedish society, named Oscarberg, founded in the pre- 
ceding year by the reverend Otto Witt, who purchased the 
farm on which it stood from Mr. James Eorke. There 
were two buildings on it, thirty-five metres apart, one the 
missionary's dwelling house and the other the school 
chapel and storehouse. Both were under thatched roofs. 
When the column advanced into Zululand, a company of 
soldiers was left behind at this place to guard the chapel, 
that had been turned into a commissariat store, and the 
mission house, which was used as a hospital. On the 
22nd of January there were lying sick in the hospital 
building thirty-five men, and the garrison consisted of one 

320 History of South Africa. [ l8 79 

officer, Lieutenant Chard, of the royal engineers, who 
was in command, one officer, Lieutenant Bromhead, and 
eighty-one men of the second battalion of the twenty-fourth 
regiment, and twenty-one others, including the chaplain, 
the surgeon, the hospital attendants, the commissariat 
officials, an artilleryman, and eight soldiers of different 

At about a quarter past three in the afternoon Lieutenant 
Chard, who was busy at the pontoon, was informed of 
the disaster at Isandhlwana by two horsemen who had 
escaped, and immediately preparations for defence were 
made. The walls of the buildings were loopholed, and 
they were connected by banks made of two waggons and 
bags of maize, so as to form a rectangular enclosure or 
lager. Across this a barricade of biscuit boxes was 
made, so that if one part was taken the garrison could 
retire to the other. 

This was not completed when at half past four o'clock 
five or six hundred of the enemy appeared in sight, and 
made a rush towards the lager, but were received with 
such a heavy fire that they did not get nearer than fifty 
yards or forty-five metres. They were followed by the 
main body of the Tulwana regiment, belonging to the 
Undi corps, under Dabulamanzi, a half brother of Ketsh- 
wayo. This regiment, which had been kept in reserve at 
Isandhlwana and had therefore taken no active part in 
events there, was nearly three thousand strong, and had 
marched as soon as the camp was taken, in expectation 
of being able easily to destroy the little post on the 
Buffalo and open a way into Natal. Finding a walled 
space where they had expected to see only open ground, 
the Tulwana took cover on all sides of it at a distance of 
forty-five to three hundred and sixty metres, and kept up 
a hot fire, rushing upon the lager whenever they thought 
they had a chance of taking it. They were at least thirty 
to one of the gallant men within that frail enclosure, 
and they were reckless of their losses, but so firm was 

i»79] The Zulu War. 32I 

the resistance that whenever any of them reached the 
walls of maize they were driven back by thrusts of the 

About six o'clock they managed to set fire to the roof 
of the hospital, and then four or five soldiers laid down 
their rifles for a few minutes and carried most of the 
sick to the commissariat building at the other end of the 
enclosure. It was impossible to save them all. The garrison 
then retired behind the rampart of biscuit boxes, where 
another defensive line of bags of maize was hastily made, 
and held out there, the burning hospital giving them 
sufficient light, until four o'clock in the morning of the 
23rd, when Dabulamanzi found it necessary to retire and 
rest, as his men were worn out. They had been either 
standing at attention, marching, or fighting without food 
constantly for nearly twenty hours. Three hours later a 
large number of them appeared again, but before they 
could renew the attack the column under Lord Chelms- 
ford appeared in sight, and the post, so heroically held 
during that memorable night, was saved. Including a few 
of the sick whom it was impossible to rescue, seventeen 
white men lost their lives in the defence, and ten others 
were wounded. About three hundred and fifty dead Zulus 
were lying on the ground about the post : the number of 
their wounded cannot be given, as they were carried away 
by their companions. 

The Bantu of Lonsdale's regiment and most of those 
who had formed the column under Colonel Durnford now 
dispersed to their homes, as they did not care to remain 
on duty on what they believed to be the losing side. The 
Natal colonists were panic-stricken, fearing that at any 
hour an overpowering Zulu force would cross the boundary, 
and would very likely be joined by most of the black men 
they were living among. The mail steamer was to have 
called at Saint Helena on her homeward passage, but she 
was directed to make all speed direct to Saint Vincent, 
where she would be in telegraphic communication with 


322 History of South Africa. [ l8 79 

England, and to send a message from Lord Chelmsford 
to the war office, urgently asking for three battalions of 
infantry and two of cavalry to be sent as quickly as 
possible as a reinforcement to the army under his 

As measures of defence barricades were constructed in 
Durban, Stanger, Maritzburg, and Greytown, and arrange- 
ments were made for the inhabitants to take shelter within 
them on the shortest notice. All the troops and volunteers 
that could be collected together and spared from guarding 
the stores at Helpmakaar and Fort Pearson were stationed 
at these places as garrisons. In other localities the people 
went into lager, and the passenger steamers from Durban 
to the Cape Colony were crowded with women and children 
sent away temporarily for safety. 

So absorbed was every one in the defence of Natal that 
for nearly two months none of the relatives or friends of 
those who had fallen at Isandhlwana were able to visit 
that locality to ascertain whether the bodies of the slain 
had been disturbed or not. At last, on the 15th of March, 
Major Black, of the twenty-fourth, with a small body of 
well-mounted men, made a dash in from Eorke's drift, 
and was able to inspect the remains of the dead. The 
bodies had been partly stripped, but had not been muti- 
lated, except that a gash had been made in the abdomen 
of each to prevent its swelling, the Zulus believing that 
if this was not done their own bodies would expand 
simultaneously with those of their victims. Many were 
still recognisable by their features, and others by the 
clothing left upon them. Those lying on the site of the 
camp were partly concealed by the oats and maize that 
had sprung up from seed thickly strewn on the ground 
sodden with their blood. The party had no means of 
interring any of the bodies, and could only make notes 
of what they saw. 

About a hundred waggons and carts, mostly undamaged, 
were still standing on the ground, but everything had 

i*79] The Zulu War. 


been removed from them. The Zulus had taken away 
their own dead, and, as was afterwards ascertained, had 
buried them at a distance of over three kilometres. They 
had also taken away the two cannon, which were next 
heard of as being at Ulundi. When the party was about 
to leave, forty or fifty Zulus made their appearance from 
some huts not far off, and fired a volley, but without 
hitting any one, and Major Black and his companions 
reached Natal again in safety. 

Another two months had passed by when on the 21st 
of May Major-General Marshall with a strong party of 
cavalry visited Isandhlwana. The remains of Colonel 
Durnford were wrapped in a piece of canvas and buried 
in a natural hollow in the ground, and those of many 
others were covered with mounds of stones. The officers 
and men of the twenty-fourth had requested that the 
skeletons of their old comrades should be left undisturbed, 
as they wished to perform the melancholy duty of inter- 
ment themselves. Their wish was respected, and it was 
not until the 27th of June, more than five months after 
the disaster, that the last of the men who lost their lives 
at Isandhlwana were reverently buried. Major-General 
Marshall had spare horses with him, and when he left, 
he took away thirty-nine of the waggons and carts that 
were uninjured. 


THE ZULU WAR (continued). 

The terrible disaster at Isandhlwana brought to an end 
the operations conducted from Natal as a base until 
strong reinforcements should arrive from England, as 
for the time being nothing more could be thought of 
there than the best means of defending the colony in 
case of its invasion by a Zulu army. According to Lord 
Chelmsford's original plan two columns were also to 
operate from the Transvaal side, one of which, under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Eowlands, was to protect Luneburg 
and keep Umbelini in check, and the other, under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Evelyn Wood, was to invade Zululand 
from Utrecht and drive the Zulu forces onward to 
Ulundi, where it would unite with the columns from 
Natal and, it was hoped, be able to strike a decisive 

The fourth column, as it was called, under Colonel 
Wood, consisted of the ninetieth regiment of the line, 
the first battalion of the thirteenth regiment, the 
frontier light horse (formerly Carrington's horse) under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Redvers Buller, and a company of 
artillerymen with six field guns, in all one thousand 
eight hundred and forty-three European troops, a 
contingent of two hundred Natal blacks, and from fifty 
to sixty Transvaal farmers under Mr. Pieter Lavras Uys, 
a son of the commandant of the same name who lost 
his life in battle with the Zulus in April 1838 and 
a younger brother of the boy who died in such a noble 
manner on the same occasion. Colonel Wood had tried 


l8 79j The Zulu War. 325 

to ingratiate himself with the Transvaal farmers, but 
was unable to induce a larger number to assist him. 
Even these had stipulated that their joining his force 
was not to be considered in any way as giving their 
approval to the annexation of their country by Great 
Britain. It was in the interest of civilisation, they said, 
that the Zulu power, which was a menace to all South 
Africa, should be broken, and therefore they were willing 
to fight, but they prized the independence of the Trans- 
vaal under a republican form of government as much 
as did their countrymen who held aloof.* 

* Colonel Wood's estimate of the character of Commandant Uys 
and of the value of his services is shown in the following letter to 
Lord Chelmsford's secretary, written after the death of the 
commandant. That Uys admitted the necessity of the annexation 
" in the interests of the country at large " I think must be a 
mistake, as all the evidence available is to the contrary : 

"Kambula Hill, April 13, 1879. 
" Sir, — On the 30th ultimo I reported to the deputy adjutant general 
the death of Piet Uys, who like his brave father fell in action 
against the Zulus. / 

" His Excellency is well aware from the reports I have made 
from time to time of the invaluable aid this patriotic gentleman 
rendered not only to this column but to South Africa's highest 
interests. Though he was opposed to the annexation of the Trans- 
vaal, the justice of which measure he denied as regards his country- 
men, yet he admitted its necessity in the interests of the country 
at large, and he lent all his influence in opposition to many of his 
oldest and dearest friends in pressing on the attention of his 
countrymen their duty in combating our savage and treacherous 
foes. He armed, mounted, equipped, and provisioned his numerous 
family at his own expense, bringing his two youngest children aged 
15 and 13 years into the field, and whom I have seen behaving 
very, well in action. He steadily refused any pay for himself and 
family, though I repeatedly urged him to take his commandant's 
pay at 30s. per diem, and his eldest son has since declined to take 
the unclaimed balance. He constantly settled claims for compensa- 
tion preferred for damages done in the operations to the property 
of Dutchmen, and he was thoroughly just in all his deoisions. 
When one of his own farms was injured, he abstained from report- 
ing it, and I heard of the damage accidentally. It is impossible 
to render to the Uys family any adequate compensation for the 

26 History of South Africa. [ l8 79 

On the 6th of January the fourth column marched 
from Utrecht, and crossed the Blood river into Zululand 
according to the recent award, with the intention of 
attacking Sirayo's kraal from one side while Colonel 
Glynn's column did so from the other. But this design 
was frustrated by the appearance of a strong Zulu force 
on the front, which threatened to attack, so Colonel Wood 
formed a camp at a strong position named Bemba's Kop, 
about thirty-five miles or fifty-six kilometres from Colonel 
Glynn's camp at Korke's drift. 

On the 9th of January Bemba, the head of the Zulus 
in that neighbourhood, who was not a man of much 
importance, and who had long considered himself a subject 
of the Transvaal, surrendered and gave up his arms on 
a promise of being protected, when he and his people with 
their cattle and other property were sent to Utrecht. 
A much more important man was Seketwayo, who it 
was hoped would also submit. As he was apparently 
wavering, on the 13th Colonel Wood seized his cattle, 
but offered to restore them if he would surrender. 
This and the loss of one of his herdsmen caused Seket- 
wayo to reject all overtures, and he became openly hostile. 

loss of so good a father, but to mark our sense of the services 
of South Africa's noblest patriot I earnestly recommend — 

"First. That at the conclusion of the war a block of land equi- 
valent to 18,000 morgen or 36,000 acres be set apart to be given 
to his wife and remaining children in farms of 2,000 morgen each, 
that is to Petrus Lavras, Cornells Lucas, Jacobus Johannes, Dirk 
Cornelis, Alida Maria, widow of C. J. Potgieter, with 13 children, 
Maria Johanna, wife of P. S. Uys, Elizabeth Helena, wife of W. H. 
Moolman, Johanna Susanna, wife of A. J. Moolman, and Susanna 
Margaretha, spinster. It would be well if this tract were set aside 
between the Lion's Neck, Inseka, Zinguni range, and Inhlobane 
mountain, the scene of many daring acts of Piet Uys. 

" Secondly. That the officer commanding the district at the end 
of the war be instructed to verify the claim of the late Piet Uys 
to two farms granted under the Transvaal government for services 
rendered, and the certificates of which are lodged in the landdrost's 
office, Utrecht. " I have, &c. 

(Signed) " Evelyn Wood." 

8 79] The Zulu War. 


After this there was a good deal of skirmishing with little 
parties of the enemy, many cattle were captured, and a 
score or two of Zulus were killed, but there was no 
important action. 

On the 24th of January Colonel Wood received intelli- 
gence of the disaster at Isandhlwana, which would pre- 
vent a general advance into Zululand for some time, and 
on the same day he was attacked by a force of three 
to four thousand Zulus. He was not taken by surprise, 
however, for the farmers with him were excellent scouts, 
and his camp was well protected. The enemy, when 
they ascertained this, made but a feeble attack, and 
speedily retired, leaving about fifty men dead on the 
ground. Colonel Wood now moved his force to Kambula 
Hill, a strong position a little farther in advance in the 
territory assigned to Zululand, with the advantage of 
being on the old hunting road to the north, where he 
entrenched his camp and prepared for a prolonged stay 
and the infliction of as much annoyance as possible upon 
the enemy. 

On the 1st of February Colonel Buller with the frontier 
light horse and the farmers under Commandant Uys made 
a daring dash upon the Qulusi military kraal, about 
thirty miles or forty-eight -kilometres from Kambula, and 
situated in an almost impregnable position in a basin 
surrounded by mountains so steep that the horses could 
only be led down with much difficulty. The importance 
of good scouting was now proved, for the kraal was 
found, as the farmers who had been on that duty reported 
that it would be, almost without defenders, the regiment 
stationed there being absent at the time, and only a few 
caretakers and cattle herds being left behind. It 
was seized without any loss to the Europeans, and was 
burnt with all the grain and other property in it. Six 
Zulus were killed, and nearly four hundred head of 
cattle were seized and taken back to Kambula as prize 
by the daring party. 

328 History of South Africa. [1879 

The cavalry with this column was now strengthened 
as much as possible, in order to keep the enemy in that 
part of Zululand fully occupied and prevent an invasion 
of Natal. Commandant Frederick Schermbrucker had been 
empowered to raise a corps of a hundred horsemen, 
mixed English and German, in the King-Williamstown 
district of the Cape Colony, and lost no time in doing 
so. With these men he marched to Luneburg, where he 
relieved a section of the force under Colonel Rowlands, 
which was needed in other parts of the Transvaal, and 
thereafter he acted in cooperation with Colonel Wood. 
Colonel Weatherley, a retired military officer residing in 
the Transvaal, was engaged to raise as large a force of 
mounted volunteers as he could get together, and with 
them — termed Weatherley 's horse — he was attached to 
Colonel Wood's column. 

The surrender of the chief Hamu (Oham of many 
English writers), Ketshwayo's brother, was an event of 
some importance, though the larger number of those who 
had been his adherents abandoned him at the last 
moment. On the 3rd of February 1879 he gave himself 
up to Captain Norman Macleod, the political agent in 
Swaziland, and was sent to Colonel Wood's camp at 
Kambula. He had only three hundred men with him. 
He stated that his wives and many of his people had 
taken refuge in certain caves about forty-five miles or 
seventy-two kilometres distant, so on the 14th of March 
Colonel Buller with a party of three hundred and sixty 
mounted men, besides thirty Transvaal burghers under 
Commandant Uys, and two hundred of Hamu's men, 
made a quick march to the caves, and on the 16th 
reached the camp again with nine hundred and fifty-eight 
refugees, men, women, and children. 

On the 4th of February 1879 Umbelini made a de- 
structive raid into the Luneburg territory, which was 
repeated on the 10th, when many men, women, and 
children of the obedient clans were murdered, their kraals 

l8 79] The Zulu War. 329 

were burnt, and their cattle were driven off. A mission 
station occupied by the reverend Mr. Wagner was de- 
stroyed, but the Europeans there escaped. Commandant 
Schermbrucker went in pursuit of the raiders, and 
managed to shoot some fifteen of Umbelini's men and 
to recover many of the sheep and goats that were being 
driven away. 

On the 11th of March a company of the eightieth 
regiment, one hundred and four officers and men, under 
Captain D. B. Moriarty, that was escorting a convoy of 
eighteen waggons conveying provisions and forage from 
Derby to Luneburg, halted at a ford of the Intombi 
river v about six kilometres or not quite four English miles 
from its destination. The river was swollen, owing to 
heavy rains, and was then still rising. The advance guard 
of thirty-five men, under Lieutenant H. H. Harward, 
crossed over, but Captain Moriarty considered it imprudent 
to take the waggons through, so he drew them up in 
the form of an isosceles triangle with the stream 
as a base, and resolved to wait till the water subsided. Lieu- 
tenant Harward and the men with him remained on the 
opposite bank. 

A little before dawn the next morning a strong party 
of Zulus and Swazis under Umbelini crept stealthily upon 
the sentries, who were killed before they could give an 
alarm, and then a rush was made upon the tents pitched 
in the waggon enclosure. Many of the soldiers were 
killed before they could make ready to resist, others 
jumped into the river and tried to swim across, but 
only eight succeeded in reaching the opposite bank. The 
others were drowned or stabbed by Zulus in the water. 
Lieutenant Harward's party poured a couple of volleys 
into the mass of Zulus, and then, as nothing more 
could be done, retired to Luneburg, where the lieutenant, 
who was the first to arrive, reported what had occurred. 
A party of men was at once sent out, upon whose 
approach the Zulus retreated. The waggons were found 

330 History of South Africa. [ l8 79 

undamaged, but their lading was strewed about on the 
ground, and the oxen had been driven away. Captain 
Moriarty, fifty-nine soldiers, and three civilians who were 
with the party had lost their lives. The bodies of twenty- 
five dead Zulus lay mixed with those of the soldiers, 
and two severely wounded were made prisoners, from 
whom information concerning the attack w T as obtained. 

On the 28th of March another disaster took place. 
Some cattle guarded by Zulus having been seen on the 
Ndhlobane mountain, all the horsemen of the fourth 
column were sent to make a capture. They went up the 
mountain and, as they thought, secured the cattle, but 
while they were thus engaged a Zulu army variously 
estimated from fifteen to twenty thousand strong, that 
had been sent from Ulundi to attack Colonel Wood, 
arrived and surrounded them. In this instance their 
scouting must have been sadly at fault, for when the 
Zulus were discovered it was too late to do anything else 
than cut a way through the ring. They charged down the 
mountain in two places, and tried to do this, with the 
result that most of them got through, but no fewer than 
ninety-five men perished. Among these were Colonel 
Weatherley and his son, a boy only fifteen years of age, 
Commandant Pieter Lavras Uys, and eight other officers. 
Of Weatherley' s horse five officers and forty men lost 
their lives, of the frontier light horse two officers and 
twenty-seven men, and of the Transvaal farmers nine men. 
Mr. Llewellyn Lloyd, a political agent who was with the 
patrol, was also among the slain. 

On the following day, the 29th of March, at half past 
one in the afternoon, the Zulu army, which was com- 
manded by Mnyamana, Ketshwayo's principal induna, 
attacked the camp at Kambula. As it rushed on discharg- 
ing its firearms without taking careful aim, it was met 
by a storm of cannon balls and rifle shot, that sent it 
reeling back, but it rallied and advanced again and again, 
and it was half past four — three hours from the com- 

^79] The Ztdu War. 331 

mencement of the action — before it lost heart and fled. 
The cavalry then pursued it until dark, and fully avenged 
the loss of their comrades the day before. The lowest 
estimate of the Zulus killed was one thousand men. The 
loss on the English side was twenty-two men killed and 
fifty-nine wounded. 

At this time the career of the ferocious Swazi marauder 
Umbelini came to an end. On the 5th of April he and 
one of the sons of Sirayo, when separated from their 
followers, were being pursued by a small patrol under 
Captain Prior, of the eightieth regiment, and were 
descending a very steep hill when he was struck in the 
shoulder by a rifle ball, which passed out below his waist 
and killed him almost instantly. His death relieved the 
Transvaal border of its most dreaded enemy, and enabled 
the force at Luneburg to be practically incorporated with 
Colonel Wood's column. 

The tidings of the disaster at Isandhlwana and the danger 
of Natal being invaded by a host of merciless barbarians 
caused a shock in every land where the English language 
was spoken. In the Cape Colony naturally the apprehen- 
sion of peril was felt very keenly, and the government 
decided to send immediately to Natal every soldier that was 
effective. The local forces provided for by parliament in 1878 
were not fully organised, there was a petty war on the 
northern border, and Morosi's clan in Basutoland was on 
the brink of rebellion, but the ministry made up its mind 
to run all risks. There were in garrison in Capetown 
three companies of the second battalion of the fourth 
regiment of the line, that had only arrived from England 
on the .9th of January. On the 26th of the same month 
they left for Natal, where the remainder of the regiment 
was already, and volunteers undertook to perform garrison 
duty. Of the eighty-eighth regiment some companies were 
in Saint Helena, others in Mauritius, and others in King- 
Williamstown. The last were at once sent to Natal, 
and the yeomanry were called out and occupied several 

33 2 History of South Africa [ l8 79 

stations on the frontier. Not a single imperial soldier fit 
for duty was left in the Cape Colony. Commandant 
Rupert Latrobe Lonsdale, who had been in command of 
the third regiment of the Natal Bantu contingent, both 
battalions of which had dispersed and been discharged 
after Isandhlwana, was sent to Capetown to purchase 
horses and enlist European volunteers, and in doing so 
received every encouragement from the authorities. He 
succeeded in obtaining seven hundred and eighty men, 
afterwards known as Lonsdale's horse, with whom he 
returned to Natal as speedily as possible. 

When the intelligence reached Saint Helena her Majesty's 
ship Shah happened to be lying in the roadstead, homeward 
bound from the Pacific after three years' service as flag- 
ship there. Captain Bradshaw, her commander, at once 
resolved to proceed to Natal, and Governor Janisch arranged 
to send one hundred and eleven men of the eighty-eighth 
regiment and fifty-five artillerymen in his ship. With 
these he left Saint Helena, and on the 5th of March 
arrived at Port Natal, where he landed not only the 
troops, but a naval brigade of three hundred and ninety- 
four officers and men, who afterwards performed excellent 

From Mauritius Governor Napier Broome sent one 
hundred and ninety-three men of the eighty-eighth and sixty 
artillerymen, who reached Durban on the 26th of March. 

In England the utmost expedition was used by the war 
department, and strong reinforcements were sent out. In 
March three battalions of infantry, the fifty-seventh from 
Ceylon and the ninety-first highlanders and the third 
battalion of the sixtieth rifles from England, arrived at 
Durban, and were at once sent to Fort Pearson on fche 
lower Tugela to form the nucleus of the force intended 
to relieve the pent-up troops at Etshowe. Colonel Law, 
of the royal artillery, was in command there. On the 
16th of March the ship of war Boadicea arrived, with 
Commodore Richards on board, who was to replace Rear- 

l8 79] The Zulu War. 333 

Admiral Sullivan as commander on the station. He landed 
two hundred and twenty-eight officers and men as a naval 
brigade, who were sent forward to the lower Tugela to 
reinforce the parties from the Tenedos and the Shah 
already there. 

During April three more battalions of infantry, the second 
of the twenty-first royal Scots fusiliers, the fifty-eighth, 
and the ninety-fourth, arrived at Durban. Two cavalry 
regiments, the seventeenth huzzars and the first dragoon 
guards, also arrived, and were sent to operate with Colonel 
(now Brigadier-General) Wood's army at Kambula. 

Several hundred artillerymen, engineers, men of the army 
service corps, drafts for regiments already here, and officers 
detached for special service, among whom were four of 
the rank of major-general, were also sent out. Altogether 
between eight thousand and nine thousand combatants 
were added to the army in South Africa. All of them 
arrived safely, though one of the transports met with a 
slight accident when entering Simon's Bay, and another 
— the Clyde— ran ashore at Dyer's Island on the 4th of 
April and became a complete wreck. Assistance was sent 
to her from Simon's Bay, and all on board were saved, 
but the stores and munitions of war with which she was 
laden were lost. 

Eighteen hundred English horses were sent out for the 
artillery and cavalry regiments, and to assist in transport 
many hundreds of mules purchased in the United States 
and in South America were provided. 

Vast quantities of provisions, ammunition, tents and other 
military equipments, oats and hay for the horses and 
mules, and many other things needed were furnished with 
an unstinting hand. In the hour of her supreme danger 
not only Natal, but all South Africa, had reason to feel 
the deepest gratitude to England for the protection thus 
speedily and generously afforded. 

It needed some time to make the necessary arrange- 
ments, especially in connexion with the transport of 

334 History of South Africa. [ l8 79 

provisions and war material, but by the 28th of March 
the force destined for the relief of Etshowe was assembled 
on the left bank of the lower Tugela, and was ready to 
march. Lord Chelmsford was there, and took the supreme 
command in person. The force was in two divisions, the 
first, under Lieutenant-Colonel Law of the royal artillery, 
being composed of three hundred and fifty men of the 
naval brigades of the Shah and the Tenedos, six hundred 
and forty men of the fifty-seventh regiment, one hundred 
and forty men of the second battalion of the third regiment, 
four hundred and thirty men of the ninety-ninth, seventy 
mounted infantrymen, and thirty mounted volunteers, in 
all one thousand six hundred and sixty Europeans. It was 
accompanied by the fifth battalion of the Natal Bantu 
contingent, twelve hundred strong, one hundred and thirty 
mounted Bantu, and one hundred and fifty Bantu foot 
scouts furnished by John Dunn, making in all one thousand 
four hundred and eighty blacks. 

The second division, under Lieutenant-Colonel Pember- 
ton of the sixtieth rifles, consisted of one hundred and 
ninety men of the naval brigade of the Boadicea, one 
hundred marines of the Shah and the Boadicea, five hundred 
and forty men of the sixtieth rifles, and eight hundred 
and fifty men of the ninety-first highlanders, one thousand 
six hundred and eighty Eurppeans in all, and the fourth 
battalion of the Natal Bantu contingent, eight hundred 

The column was provided with two nine-pounder field 
guns, four twenty-four pounder rocket tubes, and two 
gatling guns. It was accompanied by ninety-four waggons 
drawn by oxen, forty-four carts drawn by mules, and 
seventy-two pack mules. 

On the 29th of March the column left the Tugela, and 
met with no opposition during the first four days of the 
journey. On the 1st of April it encamped at the Gin- 
ginhlovu stream, where, as was now the invariable custom 
when a halt was made, a strong waggon lager was formed. 

l8 79] The Zulu War. 335 

Early the next morning a Zulu army variously estimated 
at eleven to twenty thousand strong was reported by John 
Dunn's scouts to be approaching, and at six o'clock it 
attempted to charge upon the north front of the lager. 
It was received with such a deadly storm of bullets that 
when its leading men were within twenty metres of the 
waggon barrier it recoiled. The long grass and the un- 
dulations of the ground favoured its approach on two 
other sides, but the result was the same, the recklessly 
brave Zulus were unable to reach the lager, and the fire 
from their unsteady rifles did little harm. Then the plan 
of Andries Pretorius at the battle of Blood Kiver was 
adopted, and the cavalry were sent out to attack the 
enemy in the rear. Being between two fires, neither of 
which could be reached, the Zulus lost all heart, and a 
little after seven o'clock they turned and fled, more like 
a disorderly mob than like disciplined soldiers. The Natal 
blacks were then sent in pursuit, and assisted the cavalry 
to cut down the fugitives. Over a thousand dead Zulus 
were afterwards counted, and it was believed that fully 
twelve hundred must have perished. Four hundred and 
thirty-five rifles of different patterns were picked up on 
the ground. On the European side two officers, four 
soldiers, and five Natal blacks were killed, and six officers, 
twenty-nine soldiers, and twenty-five Bantu, among whom 
were five of John Dunn's scouts, were wounded. 

On the 3rd of April Major Walker, of the ninety-ninth 
regiment, was left in charge of the lager, with nine hundred 
soldiers, most of the naval brigade, and the Bantu con- 
tingent, and with the remainder of the column Lord 
Chelmsford marched to Etshowe, taking with him only the 
mule carts laden with stores. It was after dark when he 
arrived, to the intense relief of Colonel Pearson and every 
one under his command. 

Etshowe had proved to be an unhealthy place for 
Europeans, and the whole of the people there were so 
debilitated that they were quite unfit for further duty 

336 History of South Africa. [ l8 79 

when they were relieved. Kemittent fever and dysentery 
were the prevailing diseases, and the supply of medicine 
had long been exhausted, while comforts for the sick were 
entirely wanting. There had been twenty-five deaths from 
disease and three from wounds during the period of deten- 
tion, which was a very high rate of mortality for South 

Partly on this account and partly because there was a 
better site for a depot of supplies not far from the lager 
at Ginginhlovu, Lord Chelmsford determined to abandon 
Etshowe, and on the 4th and 5th of April the whole of 
the forces there were withdrawn. Some oxen still remained, 
and four hundred more were brought up from Ginginhlovu, 
so that the waggons and guns could be removed. The 
debilitated troops and the naval brigade of the Active were 
sent to Natal to regain their health, but several died on 
the way or shortly after their arrival at the Tugela. Colonel 
Pearson and the men under his command, however, had 
the satisfaction of knowing that the privations and suffering 
they had undergone had been of essential service to the 
country, for their hold of Etshowe and Colonel Wood's 
stand at Kambula had very largely contributed to make 
it impracticable for the Zulus to invade Natal with an 
overwhelming force. 

Before Lord Chelmsford left Etshowe he sent out a 
strong patrol, which destroyed one of Dabulamanzi's kraals 
about thirteen or fourteen kilometres distant. 

An entrenched post, named Fort Chelmsford, was formed 
near the Inyezane river, and Lieutenant-Colonel Clarke, 
of the fifty-seventh regiment, was left in command of it, 
with a strong garrison, when the remainder of the column 
returned to Natal. To it stores of all kinds were conveyed 
as rapidly as the means of transport would permit, that it 
might form a depot of supplies when an advance was made 
to Ulundi. 

The coast of Zululand was carefully examined by ships 
of war, and a place was found where stores could be 

l8 79J The Zulu War. 337 

landed in very fine weather, which would greatly facilitate 
the transport of supplies to Fort Chelmsford. The place 
was named Port Durnford, though it was only an open 
beach, without shelter from the sea, near the mouth of 
the river Umlalazi. Here, on the 29th of June, for the 
first time some provisions were landed in a couple of 
surf-boats brought up from Algoa Bay, and a strong 
camp was formed, with a detachment of men of the naval 
brigade to assist in the work of landing. But the place 
was never of much importance. There was already a 
large quantity of provisions at Fort Chelmsford, and 
the advance was then being made, so that the discovery 
of a landing-place came too late to be of material 

In examining the coast the Tenedos had struck on a 
sunken reef, and sustained so much damage that she was 
sent to Simon's Bay to be repaired. There it was con- 
sidered necessary that she should proceed to England, so 
in May her men who were assisting to guard the lower 
Tugela were withdrawn to rejoin their ship. 

The arrival of strong reinforcements in April enabled 
Lord Chelmsford to make new arrangements for carrying 
on the war. Major- General the honourable H. H. Clifford 
was placed in command of the base of operations, that 
is the various posts along the Tugela and Buffalo rivers. 
Major-General Marshall was appointed to the command 
of the cavalry brigade. 

Major-General Crealock was given command of what was 
termed the first division, that is the column destined to 
move along or near the coast, Colonel Pearson's health 
having completely broken down, so that he was compelled 
to retire from active service. It was a very strong column, 
consisting of twenty-one officers and five hundred and 
fourteen men of the naval brigade, the fifty-seventh, 
eighty-eighth, and ninety-first regiments, part of the second 
battalion of the third and of the third battalion of the 
sixtieth rifles, artillerymen, engineers, mounted infantry, 


338 History of South Africa. [ l8 79 

Lonsdale's horse, and Natal volunteers, in all four thou- 
sand four hundred and eighty-eight Europeans, and men 
of the Natal Bantu contingent and Dunn's scouts, num- 
bering seven hundred and eighty blacks. On the 17th of 
June this division, much the strongest of any in the field, 
marched from the lower Tugela with a transport train of 
more than a hundred waggons and carts. 

To Major-General Newdigate was assigned the command 
of the second division, or the column corresponding to that 
formerly under Colonel Glynn. It consisted of two thou- 
sand seven hundred and eighty-eight Europeans and seven 
hundred and five Bantu, made up of the first battalion 
of the twenty-fourth regiment, six hundred and twenty- 
five officers and men, the fifty-eighth, six hundred and 
forty-nine officers and men, the ninetj^-fourth, six hundred 
and fifty-three officers and men, part of the seventeenth 
lancers, four hundred and twenty-eight officers and men, 
three hundred and twenty-three artillerymen with two gat- 
lings and six field guns, fifty-two engineers, forty-three 
Europeans and twenty-nine Bantu of the army medical 
corps, and the second battalion of the Natal Bantu con- 
tingent, fifteen European officers and six hundred and 
seventy-six blacks. On the 28th of May this column left 
Kopje Alleen, where it had been encamped, and com- 
menced its march towards Ulundi. It was accompanied 
by a train of over six hundred waggons, and necessarily 
moved at a very slow pace. 

Three days after it commenced its march a deplorable 
incident occurred, when the young man who had once 
been prince imperial of France, the only son of the 
emperor Napoleon III, met his death in an exceedingly 
tragic manner. After the fall of his father from power 
and the establishment of the republic he had resided 
in England, and when the disaster at Isandhlwana drew 
the attention of people generally to the Zulu war, he 
offered his services as a volunteer, and came to South 
Africa in the Danube troopship, that reached Table Bay 

l8 79] The Zulu War. 339 

on the 26th of March. He held no position in the 
British army, but it was customary to treat him with 
much deference, and on the 1st of June when Lieu- 
tenant Jahleel Brenton Carey was sent out with six 
mounted volunteers and a Kaffir to inspect the country 
ahead, he accompanied the party, and the lieutenant 
treated him as if he was in command. The patrol off- 
saddled in a field of maize, and after resting a short 
time was about to leave when it was surprised by a 
band of Zulus, who crept up unperceived and fired a 
volley, without, however, hitting any one. The horses 
had been caught and saddled, and every one then mounted 
and rode away as fast as he could, except the young 
Louis Napoleon, whose horse was so restive as to be 
unmanageable. Two of the volunteers and the Kaffir 
were cut off and killed by the Zulus, the lieutenant and 
the other four escaped. "When last seen by one of those 
galloping away, the late prince imperial was vainly en- 
deavouring to mount his horse. 

A strong patrol was sent out, and the body was 
found with eighteen assagai wounds in it, all in front, 
any one of five of which would have been mortal. It 
had been stripped, but a locket was left suspended from 
the neck. It was forwarded with every mark of honour 
to Durban, where it was taken on board the flagship 
Boadicea, and was conveyed to Simon's Bay. Her 
Majesty's ship Orontes was fitted up there to receive 
it, and in her it was conveyed to England with every 
possible mark of respect. The mother of the deceased, 
the ex-empress Eugenie, in the following year visited 
South Africa, to make a pilgrimage to the place where 
her son met his death. 

Brigadier-General Evelyn Wood's force was termed the 
flying column. Its strength was made up to two 
thousand five hundred and fifty-two Europeans and six 
hundred and one Bantu, composed of the first battalion 
of the thirteenth, six hundred and seventeen officers 

34-0 History of South Africa. [^79 

and men, four companies of the eightieth, three hundred 
and seventy- three officers and men, the ninetieth, six 
hundred and fifty-four officers and men, one hundred 
and forty-five artillerymen with six field guns, eighty- 
two engineers, ninety-five mounted infantry, two hundred 
and nine frontier light horse, three hundred and sixty- 
three mounted volunteers, five European officers and 
ninety-nine men Bantu pioneers, and a body termed 
Wood's irregulars, nine European officers and four 
hundred and eighty-five blacks. This column moved 
forward from Kambula, and on the 2nd of June reached 
the Inyotyozi river, where it formed a temporary camp. 
It was accompanied by a train of nearly three hundred 
waggons, conveying the necessary equipment and pro- 
visions. This column was close in touch with the 
second division, and effected a junction with it on the 
28th of June, when Lord Chelmsford assumed immediate 

The first division, under Major-General Crealock, had 
in the meantime marched along the coast, and on the 
20th of June encamped at Port Durnford. There it 
remained awaiting orders, and it took no part in the 
final engagement at Ulundi. 

For a long time past Ketshwayo had been trying to 
ascertain if peace could not be brought about, but he 
was not prepared to agree to the terms offered by the 
high commissioner and the lieutenant-general, which to 
him meant utter degradation. After the battles of 
Kambula and Ginginhlovu many of his regiments had 
become disheartened, and though he could still bring a 
strong army into the field, he realised that his soldiers 
would not face the English troops as bravely as at 
the beginning of the war. One corps only, the Umcityu, 
could be thoroughly depended upon, as they had just 
given proof of their devotion to his cause. He had 
collected together the whole of his white oxen — which 
were considered by the Zulus as more valuable than the 

l8 79] The Zulu War. 34I 

others on account of the shields for the veterans being 
made from their hides,— and directed the herd to be 
taken as a peace offering to the British authorities, 
but when on the way the Umcityu turned them back,' 
and declared they would rather fight and die than submit 
to such a disgrace. There was thus no alternative: 
hostilities must be continued until complete victory was 
won and the Zulu military organisation was utterly and 
for all time to come destroyed. 

In England the war was very far from being popular. 
Intelligence that it had been entered upon had taken 
both the government and the people by surprise, the 
disaster at Isandhlwana had shocked every one, and 
now the only desire was to get it over as soon as pos- 
sible. The cost to the British treasury was enormous. 
There were fifteen battalions of infantry and two of 
cavalry in the field, with a proportionate number of 
other branches of the service (9,364 imperial infantry, 
1,190 cavalry, 775 artillerymen with 36 guns, and 385 
engineers, besides several hundred army service men 
and those of the hospital corps), but that was not all. 
The high commissioner and the general were asking 
for more, and a thousand marines were being sent out. 
They arrived too late to be of service, and at once went 
back again, but the cost of transport and of the supplies 
forwarded with them was by no means trifling. Then 
the frontier light horse, Lonsdale's horse, and other 
corps, in all 1,528 Europeans, and the whole of the 
Bantu engaged in every capacity were paid and main- 
tained from imperial funds, only 334 mounted police 
and volunteers being supported by Natal. The charges 
for waggon transport too amounted to many scores of 
thousands of pounds sterling, so that the burden for a 
war in which the English people were only indirectly 
concerned was felt by them as exceedingly grievous. 

Under these circumstances the government resolved to 
send out the soldier of highest reputation for ability at 

342 History of South Africa. [1879 

that day to conclude the war as rapidly as possible, and 
to give him supreme civil as well as military authority 
in the whole region affected by hostilities, so that he 
might be able to make use of every resource. Difficulties 
had arisen between Lord Chelmsford and Sir Henry 
Bulwer, lieutenant-governor of Natal, and ift was con- 
sidered advisable to provide against anything of the kind 
in the future. When preparing for the relief of 
Etshowe, Lord Chelmsford desired that the Natal Bantu 
should .be employed in making raids into Zululand, in 
order to draw a portion of the Zulu army away from 
his line of march. To this Sir Henry Bulwer, as supreme 
chief of the Natal blacks, objected, on the ground that 
it would certainly provoke retaliation. And indeed the 
only raid into Natal during the war, excepting that at 
Borke's drift, was one on the 25th of June, which was 
declared by the Zulus to have been carried out solely on 
account of those whom they punished having acted in 
a similar manner towards them. On this occasion about 
a thousand Zulus crossed the Tugela, burnt a consider- 
able number of kraals, drove off the cattle, killed many 
men, women, and children, and took some women and 
children away with them when they returned to their 
own country the same evening. The dispute between 
the general and the lieutenant-governor led to much cor- 
respondence, and the authorities in England, without 
blaming Sir Henry Bulwer in any way, considered that in 
war civil authority should give place to military needs. 

On the 28th of May commissions were issued to Lieu- 
tenant-General Sir Garnet Joseph Wolseley, in which 
he was appointed governor of Natal and the Transvaal 
and high commissioner for the adjacent territories, as 
well as commander-in-chief of the forces in the field. Sir 
Henry Bulwer was to remain lieutenant-governor of 
Natal, and conduct the government of that colony as 
before, but subject to Sir Garnet's authority in military 
matters, and Sir Owen Lanyon, who had succeeded Sir 

l8 79] The Zulu War. 343 

Theophilus Shepstone as administrator of the Transvaal, 
was to remain in the same capacity. 

Sir Garnet Wolseley arrived at the Cape on the 23rd 
of June, and on the next day left for Natal in the 
coasting steamer Dunkeld. On the 28th he landed at 
Durban, and on the same day took the oaths of office 
as governor at Pietermaritzburg, where he lost no time 
in making himself acquainted with the existing condition 
of affairs. The difficulty of transport in Zululand, where 
there were no roads, being the greatest obstacle to the 
rapid movement of troops, he called the chiefs living in 
the Tugela valley together, and arranged with them to 
supply him with some thousands of carriers in case he 
should need them. 

He then embarked in the Shah and proceeded to Port 
Durnford, with the intention of joining Major-General 
Crealock's army there, but on his arrival the surf was so 
high that it was impossible to land. He waited two 
days, and then, as there was no prospect of the sea 
becoming smooth, he returned to Durban, and travelling 
overland past Fort Pearson, he reached General Crealock's 
camp on the 7th of July, where he learned that a decisive 
battle had been fought and that the war was over. 

It was natural that Lord Chelmsford should desire to 
complete the conquest of the Zulus, and when information 
reached him that he was to be superseded, he realised 
that he had not an hour to lose. The second division 
of the army, under Major-General Newdigate, and the 
flying column, under Brigadier-General Wood, were making 
their way slowly towards Ulundi, encumbered with hun- 
dreds of waggons, for which roads, or rather rough tracks, 
had to be made. Every possible exertion was now put 
forth to hasten the march, and when the destination was 
near two great lagers were formed where everything that 
could be dispensed with was left behind. These lagers 
needed strong garrisons to protect them, and over a 
thousand officers and men were detached for this pur- 

344 History of South Africa, [1879 

pose, but the columns had been strengthened by the first 
dragoon guards and the second battalion of the twenty- 
first regiment, so that when on the 2nd of July Lord 
Chelmsford made his final dash upon Ulundi he had with 
him four thousand and sixty-two Europeans of all ranks, 
of whom six hundred were colonists, and eleven hundred 
and three Bantu. He was provided with two gatlings 
and twelve field guns. The original plan was that the 
first division, under Major-General Crealock, should 
march from the camp at Port Durnford and join the 
others, but there was no time now to wait for it to 
come up. 

On the 4th of July a Zulu army variously estimated 
from twelve to twenty-five thousand strong came in sight, 
when Lord Chelmsford drew up his force in the form of 
a hollow square, enclosing the ammunition carts, the 
cavalry, and the Bantu. The Zulus surrounded it a little 
before nine in the morning, and charged on all sides. 
Some of them got as close as fifty metres, but were met 
with a storm of shells and. rifle-bullets which drove them 
back in disorder, and the cavalry was then let loose upon 
them. Their sole effort now was to escape, but they 
were ridden down and slaughtered till the pursuers were 
too weary to do more. Lord Chelmsford estimated the 
slain at fifteen hundred, but a newspaper correspondent 
who was present reduced that number to eight hundred, 
or a little more than half. The remainder dispersed, 
never to come together in arms again. In the battle of 
Ulundi the Zulu military power made its final effort for 
existence, and was completely destroyed. Lord Chelms- 
ford's loss in the engagement was two officers, thirteen 
soldiers, and three Bantu killed, and nineteen officers, 
fifty-nine soldiers, and seven Bantu wounded. Detach- 
ments of the seventeenth lancers, the first dragoon guards, 
and the thirteenth, twenty-first, fifty-eighth, eightieth, nine- 
tieth, and ninety-fourth regiments of the line took part in 
the action. 

l8 79] The Zulu War. 345 

Immediately after the battle the military kraal of 
Ulundi, from which everyone had fled, was set on fire 
and destroyed. It was built in the form of a circle, four 
hundred and fifty metres or fifteen hundred English feet 
in diameter, with six concentric circles of beehive-shaped 
huts. Ketshwayo with his numerous wives and large 
household lived in a group of round huts without win- 
dows and with only low entrances, but he, like Moshesh, 
had also to gratify his pride when Europeans visited 
him a house that had been built by a white man, and 
was rectangular in shape. Its walls were of sun-dried 
bricks, and were plastered on both sides and papered 
within. It contained three rooms, with glazed windows, 
and had a large front door and broad verandah. The 
roof was neatly thatched, and the floors, made of pul- 
verised ant-heap mixed with bullocks' blood, were hard 
and smooth. Such a house, though used only for show, 
compared with Dingana's grand hut, certainly exhibited a 
considerable advance in knowledge of civilised customs, 
though it indicated no appreciation of them. It dis- 
appeared in the general conflagration. 

After telling his indunas that each one must shift for 
himself as best he could, Ketshwayo fled, and for some 
time no one could be induced to give any information 
concerning him. The principal men in the country now 
came in and surrendered their arms to the British autho- 
rities, by whom they were promised that no harm should 
happen to them. On the 12th of July Dabulamanzi sur- 
rendered, and the last one of any note to give himself up 
was Methlokazulu, son of Sirayo, who delayed his sub- 
mission until the 26th of August. He was lodged in 
prison at Maritzburg, but the attorney-general of Natal 
could find no law to authorise his trial for the offence 
for which his surrender had been demanded from Ketsh- 
wayo, and he was therefore set free. 

The settlement of Zululand was delayed owing to 
Ketshwayo being still at liberty, but on the 28th of 

346 History of South Africa. [* 8 79 

August he was captured at a little secluded kraal in the 
Ngomi forest by Major Marter, of the dragoon guards, the 
leader of one of the parties that were scouring the country 
in search of him. There were with him at the time 
only four of the women of his household, a servant girl, 
and four adult male attendants, all of whom were made 
prisoners, and were taken with him to Port Durnford, 
where on the 4th of September the party was placed on 
board the steamship Natal for conveyance to Capetown. 
On the 9th of September the Natal arrived in Simon's 
Bay, where she was detained nearly a week while a suite 
of rooms was being prepared in the castle of Good Hope 
for the reception of the captives. On the 15th of Sep- 
tember they were brought round to Table Bay and landed 
in the dock, from which they were taken in closed 
carriages to the castle, there to be confined as prisoners 
of state until her Majesty's pleasure as to the disposal 
of Ketshwayo should be known. 

Sir Garnet Wolseley's first care was to reduce the 
expense of the large force in arms, now no longer needed, 
and with this object in view he dismissed without delay 
nearly the whole of the various corps raised in South 
Africa, as being more costly than imperial troops. The 
Bantu engaged were at the same time permitted to return 
to their homes. The naval brigades of the Active and the 
Shah embarked at Port Durnford on the 21st of July in 
the City of Venice, and proceeded to rejoin their ships in 
Simon's Bay. A week later they were followed by the 
men of the Boadicea. Lord Chelmsford, Major-Generals 
Crealock and Marshall, and the two officers of greatest 
prominence in South Africa, Brigadier-General Evelyn 
Wood and Lieutenant-Colonel Kedvers Buller, returned to 
England. In August the second battalion of the third 
regiment was sent to the Straits settlements, the seven- 
teenth lancers were sent to India, and the first battalions 
of the thirteenth and the twenty-fourth returned to Eng- 
land. In October the eighty-eighth and the ninetieth left 

l8 79] The Zulu War. 347 

for India, and the fifty-seventh was sent to England. In 
December the ninety-ninth left for Bermuda. Most of 
the engineers, the army service corps, the artillerymen, 
and the army hospital corps were also sent either to Eng- 
land or to India. There still remained in South Africa a 
cavalry regiment, the first dragoon guards, and eight batta- 
lions of infantry, the second battalions of the fourth, the 
twenty-first, and the twenty-fourth, the third battalion of 
the sixtieth, and the fifty-eighth, eightieth, ninety-first, and 

The next matter was the settlement of Zululand. On 
the 1st of September Sir Garnet Wolseley met about 
three hundred of the leading men of the country at 
Ulundi, and announced to them that no part of the terri- 
tory would be forfeited to Great Britain. Its future 
boundaries would be the Pongolo river on the north, the 
Tugela and Buffalo rivers on the south, the sea on the 
east, and the line announced in December 1878 on 
the west, except that the farms occupied by white men 
on that side were to be part of the Transvaal. There 
were forty^six such farms in the territory assigned to the 
Zulus by the boundary commission, with seventy-five 
homesteads upon them, besides about twenty others that 
were registered as the property of Europeans, but were 
unoccupied. These last were allotted to Zululand. 

Within these boundaries Zululand was to be divided 
into thirteen sections, each of which would be placed 
under a chief who would possess supreme and independent 
power, but who must agree to and sign the following 
conditions : 

" 1. I will observe and respect whatever boundaries shall 
be assigned to my territory by the British government 
through the resident of the division in which my territory 
is situated. 

" 2. I will not permit the existence of the Zulu 
military system, or the existence of any military system 
or organisation whatsoever within my territory; and 

348 History of South Africa. [ l8 79 

I will proclaim and make it a rule that all men 
shall be allowed to marry when they choose, and 
as they choose, according to the good and ancient 
customs of my people, known and followed in the days 
preceding the establishment by Chaka of the system 
known as the military system ; and I will allow and 
encourage all men living within my territory to go and 
come freely for peaceful purposes, and to work in Natal, 
or the Transvaal, or elsewhere, for themselves or for hire. 

"3. I will not import or allow to be imported into 
my territory, by any person upon any pretence or for 
any object whatsoever, any arms or ammunition from 
any part whatsoever, or any goods or merchandise by 
the seacoast of Zululand, without the express sanction 
of the resident of the division in which my territory is 
situated, and I will not encourage, or promote, or take 
part in, or countenance in any way whatsoever the 
importation into any part of Zululand of arms or 
ammunition from any part whatsoever, or of goods or 
merchandise by the sea coast of Zululand, without such 
sanction, and I will confiscate and hand over to the 
Natal government all arms and ammunition and goods 
and merchandise so imported into my territory, and I 
will punish by fine or other sufficient punishment any 
person guilty of or concerned in such unsanctioned 
importation, and any person found possessing arms, or 
ammunition, or goods, or merchandise knowingly obtained 

"4. I will not allow the life of any of my people to be 
taken for any cause, except after sentence passed in a 
council of the chief men of my territory, and after fair 
and impartial trial in my presence, and after the hearing 
of witnesses ; and I will not tolerate the employment 
of witch doctors, or the practice known as ' smelling 
out,' or any practices of witchcraft. 

"5. The surrender of all persons fugitives in my 
territory from justice, when demanded by the government 

l8 79] The Zulu War. 349 

of any British colony, territory, or province in the 
interests of justice, shall be readily and promptly made 
to such government ; and the escape into my territory of 
persons accused or convicted of offences against British 
laws shall be prevented by all possible means, and every 
exertion shall be used to seize and deliver up such 
persons to British authority. 

"6. I will not make war upon any chief, or chiefs, 
or people, without the sanction of the British govern- 
ment, and in any unsettled dispute with any chief or 
people I will appeal to the arbitration of the British 
government, through the resident of the division in which 
my territory is situated. 

"7. The succession to the chieftainship of my territory 
shall be according to the ancient laws and customs of my 
people, and the nomination of each successor shall be 
subject to the approval of the British government. 

"8. I will not sell, or in any way alienate, or permit 
or countenance any sale or alienation of any part of the 
land in my territory. 

" 9. I will permit all people now residing within my 
territory to there remain upon the condition that they 
recognise my authority as chief, and any persons not 
wishing to recognise my authority as chief, and desiring 
to quit my territory, I will permit to quit it, and to 
pass unmolested elsewhere. 

" 10. In all cases of dispute in which British subjects 
are involved, I will appeal to and abide by the decision 
of the British resident of the division in which my terri- 
tory is situated; and in all cases where accusations of 
offences or crimes committed in my territory are brought 
against British subjects, or against my people in relation 
to British subjects, I will hold no trial and pass no 
sentence except with the approval of such British resident. 

" 11. In all matters not included within these terms, 
conditions, and limitations, and in all cases unprovided 
for herein, and in all cases where there may be doubt or 

350 History of South Africa. [1879 

uncertainty as to the laws, rules, or stipulations applicable 
to matters to be dealt with, I will govern, order, and 
decide in accordance with ancient laws and usage of my 

" These terms, conditions, and limitations I engage, 
and I solemnly pledge my faith to abide by and respect 
in letter and in spirit, without qualification or reserve." 

In the selection of men to be chiefs of the thirteen 
districts, the principle was acted upon of breaking up 
the tribe as far as possible into sections representing the 
different independent communities in existence before the 
time of Tshaka, which that great conqueror had welded 
into one. The principle was a wise one, but it could 
only be carried out to a limited extent. More than half 
a century had elapsed since the amalgamation of the 
earlier . tribes had taken place, and in that time the 
distinctions that once existed had become almost — in most 
instances entirely — forgotten. In two cases, however, it 
was supposed that they could be revived, at least to such 
an extent as to prevent union with others in future 
against the Europeans in South Africa. 

A man was found who was a descendant of Dingiswayo, 
though not in the great line, still with the blood in his 
veins of the most powerful ruler in South-Eastern Africa 
at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the ruler 
under whose protection Tshaka had lived and prospered 
when a fugitive from his own father. The name of this 
man was- Mlandela. The descendants of the Umtetwa 
were numerous, and they all recognised Mlandela as 
having a legitimate right to their allegiance. They were 
scattered over the whole country, but it was believed that 
they would readily unite, and that an independent 
Umtetwa tribe would again be seen in the country. 
Mlandela had a tract of land assigned to him on the sea- 
coast, where Dingiswayo had once lived. 

Another of the old tribes that it was hoped to restore 
to independent existence was the Ndwandwe. Its de- 

l8 79] The Zulu War. 35I 

scendants were not numerous, consisting chiefly of the 
sons and grandsons of the lads who had been preserved 
as carriers for the Zulu army when the great slaughter 
of the tribe took place at which the English residents at 
Natal were present. Of all the people of the country it 
was believed that they could most easily be detached from 
the remainder of the Zulu tribe. Zwide, chief of the 
Ndwandwe, had been Tshaka's most formidable opponent, 
and had held his own as long as he lived. He had put 
Dingiswayo to death when a prisoner, so that uncler the 
usual conditions of Bantu life there should have been a 
hereditary feud between the Mtetwa and the Ndwandwe. 
But as in the case of the janizaries, who from being 
captive Christian boys became the fiercest of the Turkish 
soldiers, these Ndwandwe proved afterwards to be among 
the most devoted partisans of Zulu nationality. There 
was among them a man named Mgojana, a descendant 
of Zwide by a wife of inferior rank who had escaped 
the massacre of the great body of the tribe. He was 
selected by Sir Garnet Wolseley, and a district that was 
once part of the territory occupied by the Ndwandwe 
was assigned to him. 

Hamu, Ketshwayo's brother, who had seceded from the 
Zulu cause during the war, was made chief of another 

John Dunn, the Kaffirised Englishman, had much the 
largest of the thirteen districts, stretching from the sea 
along nearly the whole of the northern border of Natal, 
given to him. It was decided that the brothers and some 
other near relatives of Ketshwayo should reside here 
under Dunn's jurisdiction, where they would feel the 
change in their position much less keenly than under 
a chief of their own colour. 

In the district in which Sirayo lived before the war a 
foreign element was introduced. It was given to Hlubi, 
chief of the Batlokua, who had migrated from the Orange 
Free State some years previously, and though living in 

352 History of South Africa. [1879 

Natal had given much assistance to the English 
against Ketshwayo. 

The remaining eight districts were assigned to Sibebu 
(son of Mapeta and cousin of Ketshwayo), Somkeli, 
Mfanawendhlela, Tshingwayo, Seketwayo, Faku, Gaozi 
(who died a few weeks later and was succeeded by his 
brother Siwunguza), and Mgitshwa, who were selected 
by Sir Garnet Wolseley as being the most eligible men 
in the country for the purpose. On the 9th of September 
a commission of three military officers was appointed to 
determine the boundaries of the several districts and 
beacon them off, wherever possible selecting rivers or 
mountain ridges. 

On the 8th of September Mr. William Douglas Wheel- 
wright, previously a magistrate in Natal, was appointed 
British resident in Zululand. His duties were defined 
that he was to be the eyes and ears of the British 
government, that is he was to act as a consul, , give 
advice, and see that the conditions agreed to were 
carried out, but he was to have no authority, judicial, 
legislative, or executive, for the chiefs were to be treated 
as entirely independent, and Great Britain disavowed 
possession of the country. 

The last of the troops were now withdrawn, for it 
was believed by Sir Garnet that permanent peace was 
secured and that Natal and Zululand were at rest. 

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