Battle of Blaauwberg
The Battle of Blaauwberg known as the Battle of Cape Town, fought near Cape Town on 8 January 1806, was a small but significant military engagement. Peace was made under the Treaty Tree in Woodstock, it established British rule in South Africa, to have many ramifications for the region during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A bi-centennial commemoration was held in January 2006; the battle was an incident in Europe's Napoleonic Wars. At that time, the Cape Colony belonged to a French vassal; because the sea route around the Cape was important to the British, they decided to seize the colony in order to prevent it—and the sea route—from coming under French control. A British fleet was despatched to the Cape in July 1805, to forestall French troopships which Napoleon had sent to reinforce the Cape garrison; the colony was governed by Lieutenant General Jan Willem Janssens, commander-in-chief of its military forces. The forces were small and of poor quality, included foreign units hired by the Batavian government.
They were backed up by local militia units. The first British warship reached the Cape on Christmas Eve 1805, attacked two supply ships off the Cape Peninsula. Janssens placed his garrison on alert; when the main fleet sailed into Table Bay on 4 January 1806, he mobilised the garrison, declared martial law, called up the militia. After a delay caused by rough seas, two British infantry brigades, under the command of Lt Gen Sir David Baird, landed at Melkbosstrand, north of Cape Town, on 6 and 7 January. Janssens moved his forces to intercept them, he had decided that "victory could be considered impossible, but the honour of the fatherland demanded a fight". His intention was to attack the British on the beach and to withdraw to the interior, where he hoped to hold out until the French troopships arrived. However, on the morning of 8 January, while Janssens's columns were still moving through the veld, Baird's brigades began their march to Cape Town, reached the slopes of the Blaauwberg mountain, a few kilometres ahead of Janssens.
Janssens formed a line across the veld. The battle began with exchanges of artillery fire; these were followed by an advance by Janssens's militia cavalry, volleys of musket fire from both sides. One of Janssens's hired foreign units, in the centre of his line and ran from the field. A British bayonet charge disposed of the units on Janssens's right flank, he ordered his remaining troops to withdraw. Janssens began the battle with 2,049 troops, lost 353 in casualties and desertions. Baird began the battle with 5,399 men, had 212 casualties. From Blaauwberg, Janssens moved inland to a farm in the Tygerberg area, from there his troops moved to the Elands Kloof in the Hottentots Holland Mountains, about 50 km from Cape Town; the British forces reached the outskirts of Cape Town on 9 January. To spare the town and its civilian population from attack, the commandant of Cape Town, Lieutenant-Colonel Hieronymus Casimir von Prophalow, sent out a white flag, he handed over the outer fortifications to Baird, terms of surrender were negotiated in the day.
The formal Articles of Capitulation for the town and the Cape Peninsula were signed the following afternoon, 10 January, at a cottage at Papendorp which became known as "Treaty Cottage." Although the cottage has long since been demolished, Treaty Street still commemorates the event. The tree under which they signed remains to this day. However, the Batavian Governor of the Cape, General Janssens, had not yet surrendered himself and his remaining troops and was following his plan to hold out for as long as he could, in the hope that the French troopships for which he had been waiting for months would arrive and save him, he had only 1,238 men with him, 211 deserted in the days that followed. Janssens held out in the mountains for a further week. Baird sent Brigadier General William Beresford to negotiate with him, the two generals conferred at a farm belonging to Gerhard Croeser near the Hottentots-Holland Mountains on 16 January without reaching agreement. After further consideration, consultation with his senior officers and advisers, Janssens decided that "the bitter cup must be drunk to the bottom".
He agreed to capitulate, the final Articles of Capitulation were signed on 18 January. Uncertainty reigns as to. For many years it has been claimed that it was the Goedeverwachting estate, but more recent research, published in Dr Krynauw's book Beslissing by Blaauwberg suggests that Croeser's farm may have been the venue. An article published in the 1820s by the resident clergyman of the Stellenbosch district, Dr Borcherds points towards Croeser's farm; the terms of the capitulation were reasonably favourable to the Batavian soldiers and citizens of the Cape. Janssens and the Batavian officials and troops were sent back to the Netherlands in March; the British forces occupied the Cape until 13 August 1814, when the Netherlands ceded the colony to Britain as a permanent possession. It remained a British colony until it was incorporated into the Union of South Africa on 31 May 1910. Summary of the Articles of Capitulation signed by Lt Col Von Prophalow, Maj Gen Baird and Cdre Popham on 10 January 1806: Cape Town, the Castle, circumjacent fortifications were surrendered to Great Britain.
Transvaal Civil War
The Transvaal Civil War was a series of skirmishes during the early 1860s in the South African Republic, or Transvaal—in the area now comprising Gauteng, Limpopo and North West provinces of South Africa. It began after the British government had recognized trekkers living in the Transvaal as independent in 1854; the Boers divided into numerous political factions. It only ended in 1864 when an armistice treaty was signed under a Karee tree south of the site of the town of Brits. In late 1859 the President of Transvaal, Marthinus Wessel Pretorius, was invited to stand for President in the Orange Free State, where many burghers now favoured union as a means to overcome the Basotho; the Transvaal constitution he had just enacted made it illegal to hold office abroad, but he did so and won. The Transvaal volksraad attempted to side-step the constitutional problems surrounding this by granting Pretorius half a year's leave, hoping a solution might come about during this time, the President duly left for Bloemfontein, appointing Johannes Hermanus Grobler to be Acting President in his absence.
Pretorius was sworn in as President of the Free State on 8 February 1860. Commandant-General Paul Kruger and others in the Transvaal government disliked Pretorius's unconstitutional dual presidency, worried that Britain might declare the Sand River and Orange River Conventions void if the republics joined. Pretorius was told by the Transvaal volksraad on 10 September 1860 to choose between his two posts—to the surprise of both supporters and detractors he resigned as President of the Transvaal and continued in the Free State. After Schoeman unsuccessfully attempted to forcibly supplant Grobler as Acting President, Kruger persuaded him to submit to a volksraad hearing, where Schoeman was censured and relieved of his post. Willem Cornelis Janse van Rensburg was appointed Acting President while a new election was organised for October 1862. Having returned home, Kruger was surprised to receive a message urgently requesting his presence in the capital, the volksraad having recommended him as a suitable candidate.
Van Rensburg promptly had legislation passed to give equal political rights to members of all Reformed denominations. Schoeman mustered a commando at Potchefstroom, but was routed by Kruger on the night of 9 October 1862. After Schoeman returned with a larger force Kruger and Pretorius held negotiations where it was agreed to hold a special court on the disturbances in January 1863, soon thereafter fresh elections for President and Commandant-General. Schoeman was banished. In May the election results were announced—Van Rensburg became President, with Kruger as Commandant-General. Both resolved to hold another set of elections. Van Rensburg's opponent this time was Pretorius, who had resigned his office in the Orange Free State and returned to the Transvaal. Turnout was higher and on 12 October the volksraad announced another Van Rensburg victory. Kruger was returned as Commandant-General with a large majority; the civil war ended with Kruger's victory over Jan Viljoen's commando, raised in support of Pretorius and Schoeman, at the Crocodile River on 5 January 1864.
Elections were held yet again, this time Pretorius defeated Van Rensburg. Kruger was re-elected as Commandant-General with over two-thirds of the vote; the civil war led to an economic collapse in the Transvaal, weakening the government's ability to back up its professed authority and sovereignty over the local chiefdoms, though Lydenburg and Utrecht did now accept the central administration. By 1865 tensions had risen with the Zulus to the east and war had broken out again between the Orange Free State and the Basotho. Pretorius and Kruger led a commando of about 1,000 men south to help the Free State; the Basotho were defeated and Moshoeshoe ceded some of his territory, but President Johannes Brand of the Free State decided not to give any of the conquered land to the Transvaal burghers. The Transvaal men were scandalised and returned home en masse, despite Kruger's attempts to maintain discipline; the following February, after a meeting of the Volksraad in Potchefstroom, Kruger capsized his cart during the journey home and broke his left leg.
On one leg he continued the rest of the way. This injury incapacitated him for the next nine months, his left leg was thereafter shorter than his right. In 1867, Pretoria sent Kruger to restore order in Zoutpansberg, he had around 500 men but low reserves of ammunition, discipline in the ranks was poor. On reaching Schoemansdal, under threat by the chief Katlakter and his officers resolved that holding the town was impossible and ordered a general evacuation, following which Katlakter razed the town; the loss of Schoemansdal, once a prosperous settlement by Boer standards, was considered a great humiliation by many burghers. The Transvaal government formally exonerated Kruger over the matter, ruling that he had been forced to evacuate Schoemansdal by factors beyond his control, but some still argued that he had given the town up too readily. Peace returned to Zoutpansberg following the intervention of the republic's Swazi allies. Pretorius stepped down as President in November 1871. In the 1872 election Kruger's preferred candidate, William Robinson, was decisively defeated by the Reverend Thomas François Burgers, a church minister from the Cape, noted for his eloquent preaching but controversial for some because of his liberal interpretation of the scriptures.
The Rand Rebellion was an armed uprising of white miners in the Witwatersrand region of South Africa, in March 1922. Jimmy Green, a prominent politician in the Labour Party, was one of the leaders of the strike. Following a drop in the world price of gold from 130 shillings a fine troy ounce in 1919 to 95s/oz in December 1921, the companies tried to cut their operating costs by decreasing wages, by weakening the colour bar to enable the promotion of cheaper black miners to skilled and supervisory positions; the rebellion started as a strike by white mine workers on 28 December 1921 and shortly thereafter, it became an open rebellion against the state. Subsequently the workers, who had armed themselves, took over the cities of Benoni and Brakpan, the Johannesburg suburbs of Fordsburg and Jeppe; the young Communist Party of South Africa took an active part in the uprising on grounds of class struggle while opposing racist aspects of the strike, as did the syndicalists. The racist aspect was typified by the slogan.
Several Communists and syndicalists, the latter including the strike leaders Percy Fisher and Harry Spendiff, were killed as the rebellion was quelled by state forces. The rebellion was put down by "considerable military firepower and at the cost of over 200 lives". Prime Minister Jan Smuts crushed the rebellion with 20,000 troops, artillery and bomber aircraft. By this time the rebels had dug trenches across Fordsburg Square and the air force tried to bomb but missed and hit a local church. However, the army's bombardment overcame them. Smuts' actions caused a political backlash, in the 1924 elections his South African Party lost to a coalition of the National Party and Labour Party, they introduced the Industrial Conciliation Act 1924, Wage Act 1925 and Mines and Works Amendment Act 1926, which recognised white trade unions and reinforced the colour bar. Under instruction from the Comintern, the CPSA reversed its attitude toward the white working class and adopted a new'Native Republic' policy.
Benjamin Jennings Caddy Jacob van Deventer Ernest Glanville Cape Mounted Riflemen Light Horse Regiment South African Air Force
South West Africa campaign
The South West Africa Campaign was the conquest and occupation of German South West Africa by forces from the Union of South Africa acting on behalf of the British Imperial Government at the beginning of the First World War. The outbreak of hostilities in Europe in August 1914 had been anticipated and government officials of South Africa were aware of the significance of their common border with the German colony. Prime Minister Louis Botha informed London that South Africa could defend itself and that the Imperial Garrison might depart for France. South African troops were mobilised along the border between the two countries under the command of General Henry Lukin and Lt Col Manie Maritz early in September 1914. Shortly afterwards another force occupied the port of Lüderitz. There was considerable sympathy among the Boer population of South Africa for the German cause. Only twelve years had passed since the end of the Second Boer War, in which Germany had offered the two Boer republics moral support against the British Empire.
Lieutenant-Colonel Manie Maritz, heading commando forces on the border of German South West Africa, declared that the former South African Republic and Orange Free State as well as the Cape Province and Natal are proclaimed free from British control and independent, every White inhabitant of the mentioned areas, of whatever nationality, are hereby called upon to take their weapons in their hands and realise the long-cherished ideal of a Free and Independent South Africa. Maritz and several other high-ranking officers gathered forces with a total of about 12,000 rebels in the Transvaal and Orange Free State, ready to fight for the cause in what became known as the Boer Revolt; the government declared martial law on 14 October 1914 and forces loyal to the government under the command of Generals Louis Botha and Jan Smuts proceeded to destroy the rebellion. Maritz took refuge with the Germans; the leading Boer rebels received terms of imprisonment of heavy fines. A first attempt to invade German South West Africa from the south failed at the Battle of Sandfontein, close to the border with the Cape Colony, where on 26 September 1914 the German fusiliers inflicted a serious defeat on the British troops, although the survivors were left free to return to British territory.
To disrupt South African plans to invade South West Africa, the Germans launched a pre-emptive invasion of their own. The Battle of Kakamas, between South African and German forces, took place over the fords at Kakamas, on 4 February 1915, it was a skirmish for control of two river fords over the Orange River between contingents of the German invasion force and South African armed forces. The South Africans succeeded in preventing the Germans gaining control of the fords and crossing the river. By February 1915, with the home front secure, the South Africans were ready to begin the complete occupation of the German territory. Botha in his military capacity as a senior and experienced military commander took command of the invasion, he split his command in two with Smuts commanding the southern forces while he took direct command of the northern forces. Botha arrived at the coastal German colonial town of Swakopmund, on 11 February to take direct command on the northern contingent, continued to build up his invasion force at Walfish Bay —a South African enclave about halfway along the coast of German South West Africa.
By March he was ready to invade. Advancing from Swakopmund along the Swakop valley with its railway line, his forces took Otjimbingwe, Friedrichsfelde and Okahandja and entered the capital Windhuk on 5 May 1915; the Germans offered terms under which they would surrender but they were rejected by Botha and the war continued. On 12 May Botha declared martial law and having cut the colony in half, divided his forces into four contingents under Coen Brits, Manie Botha and Myburgh. Brits went north to Otjiwarongo and Etosha Pan which cut off German forces in the interior from the coastal regions of Kunene and Kaokoveld; the other three columns fanned out into the north-east. Lukin went along the railway line running from Swakopmund to Tsumeb; the other two columns advanced on Lukin's right flank, Myburgh to Otavi junction and Manie Botha to Tsumeb and the line's terminus. The men who commanded these columns, having gained their military experience fighting in Boer commandos, moved rapidly; the German forces in the north-west made a stand at Otavi on 1 July but were beaten and surrendered at Khorab on 9 July 1915.
While events were unfolding in the north, Smuts landed with another South African force at the South West Africa colony's naval base at Luderitzbucht. Having secured the town Smuts advanced inland. Here he met up with two other columns that had advanced over the border from South Africa, one from the coastal town of Port Nolloth and the other from Kimberley. Smuts advanced north along the railway line to Berseba and after two days fighting captured Gibeon on 26 May; the Germans in the south were forced to retreat northwards towards their capital and into the waiting arms of Botha's forces. Within two weeks the German forces in the south, faced with certain destruction, surrendered; when the Germans provided lists of the names of 2,200 troops under their command, Botha told the German delegation that he had been tr
The Xhosa Wars were a series of nine wars or flare-ups between the Xhosa Kingdom and European settlers in what is now the Eastern Cape in South Africa. These events were the longest-running military action in the history of African colonialism; the reality of the conflicts between the Europeans and Xhosa involves a balance of tension. At times, tensions existed between the various Europeans in the Cape region, tensions between Empire administration and colonial governments, tensions within the Xhosa Kingdom e.g. chiefs rivalling each other which led to Europeans taking advantage of that and meddle in the Xhosa kingdom politics. A perfect example of this is his uncle chief Ndlambe; the first European settlers in the Cape were the Dutch, who established a small supply station in 1652 at present-day Cape Town for their trading ships to stop for supplies en route to and from the East Indies. European settlement in and around Cape Town spread into the valleys. By the second half of the 18th century, predominantly trekboers, moved eastward up the coast and encountered the Xhosa in the region of the Great Fish River.
The Xhosa were established in the area and herded cattle. Competition for land ensued after the arrival of several groups of British settlers in 1820; the Europeans invaded using force when land they had seized restricted them from expanding their stock farming activities. The Dutch East India Company, responsible for what is referred to as "founding" several urban areas, like towns and cities in populated areas of the west of South Africa, continually changed the boundaries in the Cape Colony, establishing the Great Fish River as the eastern frontier in 1778; the First Xhosa War broke out in 1779 between the Xhosa. In December 1779 an armed clash started, the war resulted from allegations of cattle theft by Xhosa people; this led to Adreaan Van Jaarsveld capturing a large number of cattle from the Xhosa and claiming to have driven them out of Zuurveld by July 1781. The second war involved a larger territory, it started when the Gqunukhwebe clans of the Xhosa started to penetrate back into the Zuurveld, a district between the Great Fish and the Sundays Rivers.
Some frontiersmen, under Barend Lindeque, allied themselves with Ndlambe to repel the Gqunukhwebe. Panic ensued and farms were abandoned; the third war started in January 1799 with a Xhosa rebellion that General T. P. Vandeleur crushed. Discontented Khoikhoi revolted, joined with the Xhosa in the Zuurveld, started attacking white farms, reaching Oudtshoor by July 1799. Commandos from Graaf-Reinet and Swellendam started fighting in a string of clashes. Fearing general Khoi rising, the government made peace with the Xhosa and allowed them to stay in Zuurveld. In 1801 another Graaff-Reinet rebellion started forcing farm abandonments; the commandos could achieve no result, so in February 1803 a peace was arranged, leaving the Xhosas still in Zuurveld. The Fourth War was the first experienced under British rule; the Zuurveld acted as a buffer zone between the Cape Colony and Xhosa territory, empty of the Boers and British to the west and the Xhosa to the east. In 1811, the Xhosa occupied the area, flashpoint conflicts with the settlers followed.
A mixed force under Colonel John Graham that included British soldiers drove the Xhosa back beyond the Fish River in an effort that the first Governor of the Cape Colony, Lt-General John Cradock, characterized as involving no more bloodshed "than was necessary to impress on the minds of these savages a proper degree of terror and respect". About four thousand British immigrants subsequently settled on the Fish River. "Graham's Town" arose on the site of Colonel Graham's headquarters. The fifth frontier war known as the "War of Nxele" developed from an 1817 judgment by the Cape Colony government about stolen cattle and their restitution by the Xhosa. An issue of overcrowding brought on a civil war between the Gcaleka Xhosa. A Cape Colony-Ngqika defence treaty required military assistance to the Ngqika request; the Xhosa prophet-chief Maqana Nxele emerged at this time and promised “to turn bullets into water.” Under the command of Mdushane, AmaNdlambe's son, Maqana led a 10,000 Xhosa force attack on Grahamstown, held by 350 troops.
A Khoikhoi group led by Jan Boesak enabled the garrison to repulse Maqana, who suffered the loss of 1,000 Xhosa. Maqana was captured and imprisoned on Robben Island; the British pushed the Xhosa further east beyond the Fish River to the Keiskamma River. The resulting empty territory was designated as a buffer zone for loyal Africans' settlements, but was declared to be off limits for either side's military occupation, it came to be known as the "Ceded Territories". The Albany district was established in 1820, on the Cape's side of the Fish River, was populated with some 5,000 Britons; the Grahamstown battle site continues to be called "Egazini", a monument was erected there for the fallen Xhosa. During the Fifth Frontier War in 1818 after a two-decade long conflict, Chief Ngqika ka Mlawu and his uncle Ndlambe’s people clashed again in a battle called the Battle of Amalinde over several issues, including land ownership; the chief appointed his eldest son Maqoma and the renowned Jingqi to lead the fight that lasted from midday to the evening.
Ngqika was defeated, losing about 500 men during
Freedom Front Plus
The Freedom Front Plus is a national South African political party, formed in 1994. It is led by Pieter Groenewald, its current stated. Along with other smaller parties, the FF+ has entered into coalition with the larger Democratic Alliance after the 2016 municipal elections to govern Johannesburg and several other municipalities; the Freedom Front was founded on 1 March 1994 by members of the Afrikaner community under Constand Viljoen, after he had left the Afrikaner Volksfront amidst disagreements. Seeking to achieve his goals through political means, Viljoen registered the Freedom Front with the Independent Electoral Commission on 4 March 1994 to take part in the April 1994 general elections. On 12 March 1994 Viljoen handed in a list of candidates for the FF to the IEC, confirming that his party would take part in the elections. Viljoen considered the election as a chance for an unofficial referendum, urged Afrikaners to vote for the Freedom Front in their numbers to show support for the idea of a "volkstaat", a separate nation for Afrikaners away from the rest of South Africa.
In the election, under the leadership of General Viljoen, the Freedom Front received 2.2% of the national vote, earning nine seats in the National Assembly, 3.3% of the combined vote to the nine provincial legislatures. This suggested; the party performed the best in the rural areas of the former Transvaal and Orange Free State, was noted by the new deputy president Thabo Mbeki as representing as much as half the Afrikaner voting population in these areas, with the strongest support among farmers and the working class. Freedom Front support would melt away in the coming years, as the party was strung along in fruitless negotiations with the African National Congress to create a volkstaat, making the party lose its importance, it would receive increased competition from new parties such as the Afrikaner Eenheidsbeweging. In the 1999 election their support dropped to 0.8% with three seats in the National Assembly and between 1-2% in their stronghold provinces. This represented a respectable portion of the Afrikaner vote, but nowhere near earlier levels.
The party's support has remained stable in all national elections held since. In 2001, Viljoen handed over the leadership of the Freedom Front to Pieter Mulder. In 2003, shortly before the 2004 general election, the Conservative Party, the Afrikaner Eenheidsbeweging and the Freedom Front decided to contest the election as a single entity under the name Freedom Front Plus, led by Mulder; the Federal Alliance joined the VF+/FF+. In the 2004 general election, support for the Freedom Front Plus rose to 0.89%. The party won one seat in most of the provincial legislatures, four seats in the National Assembly. In the 2006 municipal elections, the Freedom Front Plus received 1% of the popular vote. In the 2009 general election, the party received 0.83% and retained its four seats in the National Assembly but lost its seats in the provincial legislatures of North West and Northern Cape. After the elections, the Freedom Front's leader Pieter Mulder was appointed as Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries by the new President Jacob Zuma.
In the 2014 general election, the FF+ increased its vote to 0.9%. It retained its 4 MPs, regained a seat in the North West; the party has enjoyed consistent landslide victories in the Afrikaner enclave Orania. These charts show the electoral performance for the Freedom Front Plus since the advent of democracy in 1994: Afrikaner Boer Republics Whites in South Africa Homeland Home Rule Separatism Ethnic nationalism Orania, Northern Cape Freedom Front official site SA Talent Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation
South African Wars (1879–1915)
Ethnic and social tensions among European colonial powers, indigenous Africans, English and Dutch settlers led to open conflict in a series of wars and revolts between 1879 and 1915 that would have lasting repercussions on the entire region of southern Africa. Pursuit of commercial empire as well as individual aspirations after the discovery of diamonds and gold, were key factors driving these developments; the various wars of this era are studied separately, as independent conflicts. They include the first and second Anglo-Boer War, the Anglo-Zulu War, the Basotho Gun War, the 9th Frontier War and others; however it is instructive to see them as outbreaks in a far larger wave of change and conflict affecting the subcontinent – beginning with the "Confederation Wars" of the 1870s and 80s. As European powers – Dutch Boers and the British – began to claim parts of southern Africa, it became apparent that expansion was an imperative in order to maintain their political positions; the relationships and boundaries among them became exceedingly more complex, affecting not only themselves, but the indigenous peoples and the land itself.
By 1880, there were four dominant European regions: the Cape Colony and Natal were to some degree under British control, the Transvaal and Orange Free State were independent republics controlled by the Boers. These colonies and their political leaders were the most important and influential of the time, all were dissolved into the singular Union of South Africa in May 1910; the Cape Colony was founded by the Dutch East India Company in 1652. In 1795, it was taken over by the British, who were granted possession of the Cape by the Netherlands in 1815. At this time, the Cape Colony encompassed 100,000 square miles and was populated by about 26,720 people of European descent, a relative majority of whom were still of Dutch origin; the remainder were descended from German soldiers and sailors in the service of the Dutch East India Company's former administration, a large number of French Huguenot refugees resettled there after fleeing religious persecution at home. Some of the existing colonists had become semi-nomadic pastoralists known as trekboers who ventured beyond the Cape's frontier.
This led to an expansion of the colony's borders and clashes with the Xhosa tribe over pastureland in the vicinity of the Great Fish River. Beginning in 1818, thousands of British immigrants were introduced by the colonial government to bolster the local European workforce and help populate the frontier as an additional defence against the Xhosa. By 1871, the Cape was by far the largest and most powerful state in the region, its northern border had been established at the Orange River, Britain had handed over the administration of Basutoland too. The Cape was the only state in the region to give people of all races equal rights, it implemented a system of non-racial franchise – unusual in the restrictive world of the 19th century – whereby voters all qualified for the vote regardless of race. In practice however, it remained a European-dominated state, although in 1872 it succeeded in gaining a degree of independence from the British Empire, when it instituted the system of "responsible government".
Its government at first pursued a policy of avoiding further annexations so as to concentrate on internal development, but the South African Wars saw it annex several surrounding regions: Griqualand East, 1874. At the end of the South African Wars, the Cape Colony, Orange Free State and the Transvaal were united; the Cape Colony became a member of the Union of South Africa in 1910, today is divided between three of the modern provinces of South Africa. The land and home of the indigenous native tribes of the Northern Sotho's. There were three separate campaigns against Sekhukhune, Paramount King of Bapedi i.e. the First Sekhukhune War of 1876 conducted by the Boers, the two separate campaigns of the Second Sekhukhune War of 1878/1879 conducted by the British. Sekhukhune considered Sekhukhuneland to be independent and not subject to the Transvaal Republic and refused to allow miners from the Pilgrims Rest goldfields to prospect on his side of the Steelpoort River; the inability of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek under President Francois Burgers to score a decided victory in the Sekhukhune War, presented the opportunity to the British to annex Transvaal in 1877.
Soon afterwards, Britain declared war against Paramount King of Bapedi. After three unsuccessful attempts he was defeated by two British regiments under Sir Garnet Wolseley, assisted by 8 000 Swazis and other auxiliaries. Many of the Bapedi armies were killed, including Sekhukhune's heir and three of his brothers; the Aglo-Pedi War suffered both the British and Boer armies as well as they fell and perished in great numbers too. By the 1870s, the Transvaal was crumbling under Boer rule. In 1877, at the outset of the South African Wars, the British under Theophilus Shepstone annexed the state, the Boers were forced to cede their independence in exchange for a small pension; the British defeating local natives to secure more land in 1879 only gave the Boers less competition to worry about and enabled them to focus on retaking the Transvaal. In 1881 the Boers rebelled and the First Anglo-Boer War ensued. In this war, power was regained by the Boers, though any possibility of expansion and alliance was blocked