Fifty Fighting Years

A Lerumo

The Communist Party of South Africa 1921-1971

Nineteen Seventy One marked the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the Communist Party of South Africa. This document is based on a series of articles contributed to the Party organ, the African Communist. It traces the Party's origins as a left-wing movement within the predominantly white labour movement into a fighting vanguard of national liberation. The introductory chapter outlines three hundred years of European penetration, conquest and domination in South Africa



  1. Conquest and Dispossession (SA before 1870)
  2. Liberation and Labour Movements (1870-1921)
  3. The Turn of the Masses (1921-1930)
  4. From 'Fusion' to Fascism (1930-1950)
  5. Apartheid and Resistance (1950-1970)


Marxist-Leninist Parties have a sound tradition of taking their own history seriously. The assessment of past achievements, as well as of errors and misjudgments, is a duty of each Party, helping in its own work and adding to the experience of the international working class movement. The fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the Communist Party of South Africa was an occasion when the Party leadership had intended to carry out such a review.

Unfortunately the conditions under which the Party has to work at present precluded the fulfilment of this task. Fascist terror and illegality have taken a heavy toll of casualties among our leaders and members; most of those remaining are deeply involved in the preparations of our united national liberation movement for armed revolutionary struggle. Inadequate personnel, the difficulties of research and of organising detailed collective discussion were among the serious problems which could not be overcome in time.

The present volume is based on a series of articles published in the Party's quarterly journal, The African Communist, with a general historical introduction needed for a proper understanding of our country's present-day problems.

The author wishes to place on record his considerable indebtedness to those comrades who helped in research and discussion, as well as to the detailed guidance of members of the Party leadership. But it should be emphasised that this is in no sense an official chronicle setting forth the 'last word' of the Party on the events and problems described. While care has been taken to consult wherever possible, the writer accepts responsibility for the assessments and emphases, the selection and omissions of detail, of names and events, inevitable in any historical work.

No one can write adequately about the themes presented here without drawing upon such works as Eddie Roux's Time Longer than Rope, Lionel Forman's Chapters in the History of the March to Freedom, R. K. Cope's Comrade Bill, and H. J. and R. E. Simons's Class and Colour in South Africa 1850-1950, the last-named in particular being a monumental tribute to the industry of its authors and a rich storehouse of information.

The incorrect assumptions made by the pioneer Communists of South Africa led them into some indefensible positions, particularly when as leaders of the white labour movement they felt themselves obliged to defend on 'Marxist' grounds the maintenance of the colour bar in industry. It is all too easy, standing on the high vantage-point of retrospect, to upbraid them, saying they 'should have' done this, or 'should not have' done that. This unhistorical approach, however, is not only unjust to men who fulfilled a notable task and are not able to reply; it also fails to see that those men were bound by the inevitable limitations of their time, their background and the pressures that moulded them. It fails to educate because it does not explain in its historical context what those pressures and limitations were, and how, with deeper experience and knowledge, the movement they founded developed to transcend, correct and overcome them.

The truly remarkable thing about the founders of the Party is not that, being what they were, they made errors. It is that despite their limitations they founded a great and enduring Party which was able to withstand every trial and misfortune, to rise above all misconceptions, and with the aid of experience and Marxist-Leninist science to become a true vanguard of the workers in the fight for the liberation of South Africa.

It is very much to be hoped that the widespread interest aroused by the fiftieth anniversary will stimulate the further research and profound discussion needed to produce a substantial and collective review of the rich, rewarding and still continuing history of the South African Communist Party. To the making of this history, the underground cadres inside and the unwilling exiles outside our country, and the courageous revolutionaries of Umkhonto we Sizwe, are today contributing fresh and glorious chapters.

To them, to the memory of the martyrs and pioneers, to the thousands of fighters for freedom imprisoned and under other forms of restriction, this work is dedicated.

London, July 1971

It is perhaps difficult for White South Africans, with an ingrained prejudice against Communism, to understand why experienced African politicians so readily accept Communists as their friends. But to us the reason is obvious. Theoretical differences amongst those fighting against oppression is a luxury we cannot afford at this stage. What is more, for many decades Communists were the only political group in South Africa who were prepared to treat Africans as human beings and their equals; who were prepared to eat with us, talk with us, live with us and work with us. They were the only political group which was prepared to work with the Africans for the attainment of political rights and a stake in society. Because of this, there are many Africans who, today, tend to equate freedom with Communism. They are supported in this belief by a legislature which brands all exponents of democratic government and African freedom as Communists and bans many of them (who are Communists) under the Suppression of Communism Act.

(Speech at the Rivonia Trial, June 1964)

1. Conquest and Dispossession

The White ruling classes, and especially the leaders of the Nationalist Party have manufactured a version of the past and present of this country which they systematically attempt to impose everywhere, from the schoolroom to international opinion. According to this picture the early White settlers penetrated peacefully into a virtually unoccupied country. The African population, who are depicted as savage barbarians without culture, achievements or history, are represented as relative newcomers who entered the country at about the same time as the Whites, and conducted aggressive wars and raids against them. The impression is given that African occupation was always more or less confined to the present Reserves - the 'Bantu Homelands'. This version of South Africa's past is entirely false.

The Road to South African Freedom
(1962 Programme of the South African Communist Party)

There is hardly a region of Africa whose people have not suffered the ravages of Western European colonialism. None have been oppressed for a longer period or with greater thoroughness than the indigenous peoples of the south: the present day Republic of South Africa.

Beginning more than three hundred years ago, with the establishment by the Dutch East India Company, at the Cape of Good Hope, of a refreshment station for its ships trafficking to Asia, the people of this area have experienced wave after wave of incursions, amounting to a continuous war of aggression, conquest, dispossession and exploitation. Beginning with penetration and enslavement of some Southern areas by Dutch settlers in the pursuit of land and labour, they have experienced domination by the British bourgeoisie in its earlier trading phase and its modern phase of monopoly capitalism. They are at present suffering the terrorist dictatorship of a local white imperialism and national oppression on a scale virtually unparalleled in the modern world.

Some knowledge of this story is essential to the understanding of South Africa's present problems; the more so since South African history has been grotesquely distorted by the upholders of white supremacy. Their myths are conclusively refuted by historical and archaeological research, which demonstrate that South Africa belonged to the ancestors of the present African population, who inhabited every region of it for centuries before white men set foot on its soil.(1)

Early African Societies

Most of the country belonged to peoples of the language-group which linguists have termed 'Bantu'(2)

The Northern area (now the Transvaal and Orange Free State Provinces and the states of Botswana and Lesotho) was populated by kindred peoples of the Tswana-Sotho-Pedi language group, as well as tribes of the Tsonga and Venda groups. In the East and the South (Natal, East and Central Cape, and Swaziland) lived people of the Nguni (mainly Zulu and Xhosa) group.

Other groups of indigenous Africans lived mainly in the South-Western region of the country: the Khoikhoi and the San peoples. They were the first to come into close contact with the white settlers, who dubbed them 'Hottentots' and 'Bushmen' respectively. The Khoikhoi were pastoralists, the San, hunters, both living in self-contained tribal communities.

Also in tribal communities with a natural, non-exchange economy, were the peoples of the 'Bantu' group; but they had developed far more complex economic and political institutions. Their life was based on the soil, which was held in common. They bred cattle, sheep and other domestic animals, cultivated sorghum and other crops. But the economy was variegated and developing. They mined and wrought iron, copper, tin, gold and other minerals; manufactured pottery and hide products. Archaeological research, though grossly neglected, shows many traces of ancient stone dwellings and fortified towns and elaborate systems of irrigation and defence. With these developments a process of class-differentiation had begun, especially at Zimbabwe, with the mines coming under the control of chiefs and other substantial cattle-owners. But since the main means of production, the land, was held in common, differences in wealth and status had not led to acute class divisions.

Some division of labour had developed. Specialised workers such as miners and smiths were paid in kind. Sometimes entire tribes specialised in metalwork, exchanging implements for cattle. But the prevailing character of the economy was subsistence, not the production of commodities for exchange.

The African political and judicial structure was essentially democratic. Important decisions affecting the tribe were referred to a general assembly of the people - the Tswana and Sotho Pitso, the Xhosa and Zulu Imbizo.

'The chief's court, at which disputes were tried publicly, and every man had the right to attend and speak, was the pivot of the legal and political structure... An Nguni chief was traditionally below the law and could be tried and fined by his own privy council'

writes Professor Monica Wilson (The Oxford History of South Africa Vol. I, p.l22) and similarly:

'The Tswana, like the Nguni, were characterised by a great development of law and respect for the courts. The Kgotta (council or court of law) was the centre... of every capital.... The chief was beneath the law and could be tried by his own counsellors. None of the Sotho chiefdoms was a military kingdom in which authority was maintained by force...' (Ibid, p. 158).

Artefacts dating from as early as the twelfth century testify t(l the existence of ancient trading contacts with Eastern countries; the African communities exchanging local products for ceramics, glassware and woven fabrics from China, India and the Arab lands. These early exchanges helped to enrich the African societies and stimulate their natural development, in contrast with the later depredations of capitalism which destroyed their very fabric.

The forms of primitive communism existing in Africa before European conquest embodied cultures, values and traditions in many ways far superior to those of the representatives of capitalism who invaded and destroyed them, and regarded them with such contempt and utter lack of understanding. Yet, viewed in the light of Marxist historical materialism, these were backward societies passing through a phase of social development experienced at one time or another by all human communities. Their implements and methods of production had not advanced, in a historic sense, to a level which would enable their communities to withstand invasion by capitalist states. The early societies of Southern Africa were defeated not only by the superior weapons of the invaders, but also by their own backwardness and disunity.

The Dutch Settlement

The Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Nederlandsche GeOctroyeerde Oost-Indische Compagnie) was virtually a state within a state, combining the wealthiest merchant bourgeoisie of Holland and controlling a vast empire, whose capital was at Batavia in Java, but which extended to governorates in various parts of Indonesia, Ceylon and elsewhere.

The Dutch attempted to capture Mozambique from Portugal in 1609-10; failing in this object they sought elsewhere for a stopping place for their ships where they could rest and replenish their stocks of meat, vegetables and fresh water on their long voyage.

It was with that purpose alone that the Company set up their refreshment station at the Cape in 1652. Some idea of the scope of the project is that the original expedition was confined to about 90 men and that it was placed under the direction of a man who had previously been dismissed from the Company's service for corruption - one Jan van Riebeeck. In 1657 the Company, wary of van Riebeeck's expansionist tendencies, warned him that 'not too much work should be taken in hand... the Cape establishment should be kept as confined and small as possible.'

The Dutch East India Company, that brutal coloniser, had no scruples about robbery and enslavement: their bloody record in Indonesia testifies to that. But they did not consider the Cape as a potentially profitable colony. They did not want to start a costly war with the Khoikhoi, and preferred to obtain cattle by barter rather than by crude seizure.

They criticised van Riebeeck for entering into 'friendly' relations with the Khoikhoi. His reply affords a true insight into the mind of the man who is revered as the 'father' of the Republic of South Africa and whose portrait appears on every banknote and com it issues:

'This we did to make them less shy, so as to find hereafter a better opportunity to seize them - 1,100 or 1,200 in number and about 600 cattle, the best in the whole country. We have everyday the finest opportunities for effecting this without bloodshed, and could derive good service from the people, in chains, in killing seals, or in labouring in the silver mines which we trust will be found here.'

In a further letter van Riebeeck complained about Company regulations limiting the seizure of cattle and slaves: '... it is therefore very vexing to see such fine herds of cattle... although, were it permitted, we had this day opportunity enough to take from them 10,000 head... and we might make prisoners, without a blow, of many savages, in order to send them as slaves to India, as they constantly come to us without weapons'.

The Directors of the Company seriously contemplated digging a canal from False Bay to Table Bay, to make the Cape peninsula into an island, and van Riebeeck 'in fact planted a hedge enclosing an area of about 6,000 acres which was considered the right size for the settlement'.(3)

The Company's original intention, then, was by no means to establish a Dutch colony at Cape Town. The Company grew its own fruit and vegetables, and bartered fruit and vegetables from the Khoikhoi. But the soldiers maintained at the Cape (to guard the station from the British and other rivals) proved unwilling and inefficient market-gardeners. In an attempt to encourage private cultivation by settlers on a commercial basis the Company tried at first to recruit Chinese and Indonesian immigrants. Their efforts were unsuccessful. Gradually the Directors turned to a policy of encouraging and subsidising Dutch settlers on Khoikhoi lands, as 'boers' (i.e. farmers). Naturally, the Africans resisted the encroachment, setting off the long train of aggressive wars conducted by Europeans in Southern Africa.

The original process was a slow one. By the end of the 1680's the white population at the Cape (other than Company employees temporarily stationed there) was less than 300, but during the next ten years the population doubled through an influx of Huguenot refugees from religious persecution in France - who were rapidly assimilated by the enforced suppression of their language.

In encouraging white immigration the prime motive was the raising of a militia to defend the Cape against Holland's trading rivals. The settlers were not inclined to manual labour as farmhands or artisans: this work was considered suitable only for slaves on the lines common throughout the Dutch Empire. By 1711 'the burgher (white) population of 1,756 souls owned 1,781 slaves'.(4) Most of these were Africans from East Africa, others came from Indonesia and elsewhere m Asia. By 1778 'the census indicated 11,107 burgher-owned slaves, but these figures are certainly understatements'.(5) Thus there was more than one slave per head of the white population. Slavery was a characteristic feature of white society in the Cape, creating a pattern for its attitudes well into the nineteenth century. Since most of the slaves were dark-skinned people, whether from Asia, East Africa, or indigenous Khoikhoi, a barrier was created on the basis of skin colour, becoming ever more rigid with the passing generations.

The Company gradually dropped its earlier policy of opposition to the expansion of the white stockbreeders into the interior, mainly for economic reasons. 'The spreading out of the inhabitants with their cattle is the principal reason that meat can be delivered so cheaply to the Company...' declared a government paper of 21 January 1730. Greed for fresh pastures lured the stockbreeders ('trekboers' i.e. nomadic farmers) ever further away from Cape Town.

The Cape government periodically set boundaries beyond which settlement was illegal. This was partly to prevent conflict with indigenous peoples whose land was being invaded; partly to ensure revenue from grazing licences. Nevertheless these limits were continuously extended Eastward from the Cape peninsula - to Stellenbosch (1682), to Worcester and the Great Brak River (1743), the Gamtoos (1770), the Fish River (1780); North East from Bruintjes Hoogte (1774) and Colesberg (1778).

Further expansion was checked only by the furious resistance of the African tribes.

In the North-East a state of continuous guerilla warfare between the invaders and the San people raged throughout the eighteenth century.

'Further north east expansion was halted by increasingly ferocious warfare between trekboers and San hunters. After 1715 trekboers went further into 'Bushman Country'. By 1770 the conflict was so intense that trekboer Commandos systematically exterminated the San, while San raids forced trekboers to abandon farms in the Nieuweveld and Sneeuberg regions and endangered trekboer occupation in the Tarka region, in the 1780's.(6)

The Epic of Xhosa Resistance

At the same time, on the 'Eastern Frontier', the boers came upon far more formidable opponents to their land-and-cattle robbery than they had hitherto encountered: the various Xhosa tribes inhabiting the Eastern Cape, whom they referred to as 'Kaffirs'. Unlike the San they were primarily cattle breeders and agriculturists, whose abundant herds and fertile land attracted the envy of the trekboers. But they had a military tradition and knew how to defend themselves and fight back. Intermittent war raged between the Xhosa and the marauders for more than a century. The attitude of the boers was described by the poet and journalist Thomas Pringle:(7)

'Kaffirs who resisted were shot; their kraals burnt down and their cattle seized. No prisoners were made and the wounded and infirm were left to perish'.

The Xhosa people resisted the seizure of their lands and cattle, but were by no means averse to peaceful contacts and relations with the white settlers. Two hundred years ago elephant abounded in the Eastern Cape, and the Xhosa, as their Chiefs Ndlambe, Cungwa and others told Governor General Janssens in 1803, were anxious to trade ivory, cattle, and even their labour power, in exchange for metal, blankets, horses and firearms. They welcomed missionaries such as van der Kemp, Williams, Brownlee and others, who, despite their treacherous role in the Africans' struggle for independence imparted knowledge of literacy and other useful arts. The Xhosa were for peaceful coexistence. But nothing could restrain the appetite of the whites for Xhosa land and cattle. A series of acts of aggression (dignified by colonial historians as 'the Kaffir wars') continued until 1879.

The real nature of these 'wars' was well summarised by H. Lawson, writing in the revolutionary Johannesburg journal Liberation: (No. 20 August 1956).

Early in 1780 two Commandos made a cattle raid and murdered many defenceless people. In 1781 a Commando took 5,330 cattle in two months. In 1788 a Graff-Reinet official wrote to Cape Town that 'some of the inhabitants here have already for a long time wished to pick a quarrel with this nation (the Xhosas) in order that, were it possible, they might make a good loot, since they are always casting covetous eyes on the cattle the Kaffirs possess'. In 1793 they obtained their object. The first Commando of that year took 1,800 cattle and murdered the owners, another Commando took 2,000 cattle and murdered forty people, while the third and latest Commando under the 'Liberal' Maynier took no fewer than 10,000 cattle and also 180 women and children as prisoners for slave labour.

The Advent of British Imperialism

The Xhosa people laboured under numerous disadvantages in their clashes with the white expansionists. They were not a united people, but divided into many small chieftainships, disputes between whom could be and were taken advantage of by the invaders. Lacking firearms and horses, they fought on foot armed with assegai and shield against mounted gunmen. Yet they resisted and defended their independence and lands for over a hundred years

The task was made infinitely more difficult after the establishment of British rule in the Cape. By the end of the 17th century Holland was rapidly declining as the major maritime and colonial power. British supremacy, based on the technology of industrial capitalism, was on the ascendent.

In 1806, as a consequence of the Napoleonic wars, the Cape Colony was taken over by British imperialism.

The eighteenth century parties of marauding trekboers were part-time raiders in quest of loot rather than conquest. They relied on levies of Coloured and Khoikhoi conscripts sent in advance to face any fighting, and liable as happened on several occasions, to desert and join the Xhosa against the common oppressor.

British imperialism was quite a different and more formidable opponent, with its organised battalions of full-time professional soldiers, and its practice of regular warfare to conquer, annex and dominate overseas colonies.

The British having conquered territory, proceeded to expel the inhabitants and divide their land among settlers from the Cape Colony and from Britain itself. In 1820 4,000 British settlers were 'presented' with Xhosa land in the Grahamstown district. In 1835 the British Governor proclaimed a new boundary as far east as the Kei river and in 1857 a number of German veterans of the British Foreign Legion were settled in the region of King Williams Town.

The nineteenth-century history of the Xhosa tribes is one of the piecemeal dispossession of their lands and independence by British imperialism. The process has been succinctly summed up by Professor Wilson. (Oxford History, Vol.l,p.252):

During a hundred years the boundary shifted eastward . . . In 1772 some Xhosa, mingled with Khoikhoi, were living on the Gamtoos; in 1806 the boundary was the Fish (river) 1811 Ndlambe, with 20,000 followers was pushed across it (The Fish). In 1819 the country between the Fish and the Keiskamma was declared neutral; by 1824 it was partly occupied by whites. In 1847 the boundary shifted to the Kei; in 1858 to the Mbashe (Bashee); in 1878 to the Mthatha; and in 1894 Pondoland, between the Mthatha and Mtamvuna, was annexed.

The Xhosa people under such leaders as Ndlambe, Hintsa and Makana fought back heroically. In December 1818 the white troops, with the aid of some followers of Ngqika crossed the boundary at the Fish River, burning down the people's huts and capturing about 23,000 cattle. But, under the leadership of Makana, the Xhosa forces rallied. They crossed the Fish River, utterly defeating Ngqika's men, and penetrating deep into the Cape Colony where, armed with assegais, they fought a desperate and epic battle, suffering frightful casualties against the British firearms before they were beaten and Makana made a captive on Robben Island.

The usual colonialist 'logic' blamed the long and devastating series of conflicts on the 'eastern frontier' upon the alleged 'frontier violations' and 'cattle stealing' of the African inhabitants. No doubt retaliatory cattle-raids did take place during the hundred years war, but as Professor Wilson justly observes 'The Xhosa were fighting not primarily for booty, but for survival as an independent people'. (Ibid, p.252)

The Rise of the Zulu Kingdom

The tendency among African tribes in Southern Africa was for a long time one of subdivision into many more or less autonomous chiefdoms. The country is a big one; when the population outgrew the land upon which it was settled it was common for a section of it to hive off - often under the leadership of a member or section of the Chief's family - and move to new pastures.

Amongst the Nguni people of Natal at the beginning of the l9th century, an opposite tendency appeared - that of unification and consolidation under a highly centralised and organised monarchy. Various reasons have been advanced for this phenomenon: growing pressure of the population on the land, with no further room for expansion, the urge to monopolise foreign trade, especially with Delagoa Bay, and the threat of trekboers from the Cape, forerunners of the 'Great Trek'.

The pioneer nation-builder among the Zulu was Dingiswayo, who came to the head of the Mthethwa tribe at the end of the 18th century. By means of conscripting the young men into age-group regiments he built up a standing army which enabled him to unite the chiefdoms from the Umfolozi river in the north to the Tukela in the South by the time of his death in 1818.

He was succeeded by Shaka (1787-1828) one of the most remarkable military geniuses in history. Shaka discarded the traditional throwing assegai and armed his men with a short stabbing-spear for hand-to-hand fighting. His barefooted soldiers, rigorously trained and disciplined, were schooled in highly organised, planned and original battle-tactics. Shaka greatly expanded the area of Zulu domination. His legendary military conquests, his enormous standing army - estimates of its numbers vary up to 80,000 men - imposed Zulu power throughout modern Natal and beyond.

The traditions of the Zulu royal lineage became the traditions of the nation; the Zulu dialect became the dialect of the nation and every inhabitant, whatever his origins, became a Zulu.(8)

The tribes in neighbouring areas did not always submit to Zulu conquest. Some, like Sobhuza to the north, resisted successfully, built up an army on Zulu lines and laid the foundations of modern Swaziland. Others fled northwards with their peoples, establishing new kingdoms as far north as the Transvaal and, beyond the Limpopo, in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).

These great population movements of masses of armed men had far-reaching repercussions. A period of conflict ravaged the interior of the country, disorganising its settled population and impoverishing many; a factor which greatly facilitated the penetration of the white voortrekker invasion (the Great Trek) which took place from the Cape Colony into Natal, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal from 1836 to 1854.

The first whites with whom Shaka came into contact were a group of British adventurers who settled in Tekwini (which they called Port Natal and subsequently Durban) from 1822, mainly to trade in ivory.

Shaka welcomed them in a friendly way, regarded them as his subjects and even called them up to fight in his campaign of 1827. The following year he was killed in a fight for the succession; it was not he but his successor Dingane who had to meet the brunt of Boer and British aggression in Natal. By 1835 there were only about 30 whites at Durban, and despite occasional friction (mainly because they harboured African fugitives) they coexisted more or less peacefully with the Zulu. But Dingane had been warned what to expect. An African named Jacob (by the Europeans) who had visited the Cape Colony told him:

that at first the white people came and took a part of their (the Xhosa) land, then they encroached and drove them back, and have repeatedly taken more land as well as cattle. They then built houses among them for the purpose of subduing them . . . he had heard that a few white people had intended to come first and get a grant of land; they would then build a fort, when more would come and demand land who would also build houses and subdue the Zulus, and keep driving them back as they had driven the Frontier tribes. (Thompson, op. cit. p. 353.)

Professor Thompson cites this passage from the contemporary record of H. F. Fynn as evidence that Jacob was 'bitterly anti-white', but events were soon to justify his warnings.

By the end of 1837 thousands of trekboers from the Cape Colony had begun the invasion of Natal, pouring through the Drakensberg passes with their waggons, horses and firearms, their families and Coloured servants.

The Great Trek (1836-1854)

The northern and eastern expansion of the Boer farmers, prior to 1836, was a largely economically-motivated and spontaneous process. Ever in search of fresh grazing lands and loot, the trekboers had steadily pushed the area of white settlement outwards from Cape Town. As they moved, the frontiers of the Cape Colony, whether under Dutch or British rule, were extended to incorporate new African territories.

Quite different in character and magnitude was the mass migration of 1836-1854, in the first ten years of which over 14,000 Boers crossed the Orange River. The 'Great Trek' consisted of a series of planned expeditions of farmers accompanied by their families, servants and all their possessions. Their wagons were laden with gunpowder. Their 'treks' were of the nature of military expeditions to conquer, dominate and occupy African lands. They did not seek to extend the frontiers of the Cape Colony; rather their purpose was to escape British rule and establish a 'free and independent state' beyond the borders of the Colony.

Following British occupation of the Cape Colony a number of areas of antagonism had developed between the imperial government and the white settlers, who, predominantly Dutch-speaking farmers, resented the imposition of the English language, of British officialdom, and particularly of the concepts Or bourgeois-democratic liberalism in relation to slavery and 'the colour question'.

It is characteristic of rising capitalism that it seeks to replace all previously-existing forms of exploitation, such as slavery and feudalism, and replace them with the single form of the exploitation of wage-labour. The British bourgeoisie, like their counterparts in the United States and elsewhere opposed slavery not out of humanitarian sentiment - though of course men of humanitarian views did fight slavery - but because it stood in the way of the full development of capitalist relations of production, based on an unlimited supply of workers 'free' to sell their labour-power.

Hence, not without a lengthy struggle, the resistance of the slave-trading interests was overcome. Slavery was legally abolished throughout the British Empire in 1833, and a number of consequent measures applied to the Cape Colony.

These British reforms did not immediately or fundamentally alter the real position of the masses in the Cape. A veiled system of slavery - 'apprenticeship' - continued. The master-and-servant Ordinance of 1856 increased the authority of the white masters over their Coloured and Khoikhoi servants. The 'Kaffir Employment Act' of 1857 laid the basis for the diabolical Pass Laws, one of the foundations of anti-African discrimination.

Nevertheless the abolition of slavery and the trend it represented were opposed and resisted by the Boers, whose way of life and thought rested upon the arrogant assumptions of white superiority born of generations of chattel slavery and national oppression at the Cape.

It was such resentments, no less than their own desire for national independence, which underlay the exodus of many Dutch families from the Colony.

The Great Trek is depicted by both Afrikaner and British historians as an act of rebellion against British rule. Boer risings had taken place before, in 1795, 1799 and 1815, in each case unsuccessfully. In the words of Professor Thompson, in 1836 they launched 'another form of rebellion - escape to a new terrain.'(9) The Afrikaner historian, Professor C. J. M. Muller describes the Great Trek as 'a rebellion against the British government.'(10)

Such legalistic assessments leave out of account the principal character of the 'Trek' as a war of aggression. Far from being the relatively peaceful occupation of empty territory described by their present-day descendants and propagandists, the intrusion of the Boers into the interior was an armed invasion of lands belonging to peoples whose ancestors had inhabited them from time immemorial.

Had the British seriously wanted to do so, they could without much difficulty have suppressed this 'rebellion' and prevented the northward movement of the trekkers. In fact they connived at it.

Despite their areas of conflict with British imperialism, the Boers constantly enjoyed in their African wars the favour of the greatest military and industrial power in the world. The trekkers were, from first to last, dependent on commerce with the Cape Colony and Europe for the commodities they needed and above all for the firearms and gunpowder which enabled them to maintain their presence.

The British authorities were perfectly aware of the activities and intentions of these 'rebels'; indeed they made no secret of them. Yet (in a manner which irresistibly recalls the reaction of British imperialism to the Smith 'rebellion' in Rhodesia from 1965 onwards) they took no steps at all to prevent them.

'The British Colonial officials could have seriously impeded the Great Trek in its early stages if they had chosen to do so. It was unlawful for British subjects to leave the Cape Colony without permission, to take apprentices with them against their will, or to remove large quantities of gunpowder without licence. Since nearly all the Voortrekkers crossed the Orange River with their weapons by one of six or seven drifts . . . it would have been a comparatively simple matter to man the drifts and stem the exodus. This was not done . . .'(11)

Thus in their advance into the interior the trekkers were aided by the covert support of British imperialism, ensuring their superiority in arms. They were also helped by the disunity among the Africans, which enabled them time and again to enrol the assistance of one tribe to fight another; and by the African system and concept of communal land tenure. Often they sought and were granted the use of land by one or other African chief, to whom it was inconceivable that he was thereby ceding a title to permanent ownership by his 'guests' who could then dispose of it as they wished, deprive him or its people of its use, or compel them to work for the white farmers to pay 'rent'.

African Resistance

Yet the trekkers had no easy path. Wherever they went they met stubborn and heroic resistance from African peoples. Their occupation of Natal and later the Orange Free State and the Transvaal was continuously marked by armed resistance, which at no time did they ever succeed in fully overcoming and quelling.

In Natal their encounter with the Zulu under Dingane has been a favourite subject of Afrikaner folk lore. The Voortrekkers, under Retief, the senior Trekker leader, arrived in great force over the Drakensberg passes. According to their version they got Dingane to put his mark (he could not read or write) to a document 'giving' Retief 'and his countrymen. . . the place called Port Natal (modern Durban) together with all the land . . . from the Tukela to the Mzimbuvu Rivers westward and from the sea to the North as far as the land may be useful and in my possession'.

It is incredible that Dingane could seriously have contemplated agreeing to these demands. Certainly he was not anxious to enter into armed conflict with whites, whose fire power he respected. But it is manifestly absurd that the head of the proud Zulu nation could ever have contemplated voluntarily submitting his land and people to alien subjection by the Boers. Dingane's army was unconquered and victorious; his authority was supreme over most of modern Natal and as far north as Delegoa Bay (modern Lourenzo Marques).

Retief had asked Dingane for a grant of land in October 1837. Without waiting for his permission large parties had then settled in the areas of Northern Natal which they had asked for; they had refused to hand over his cattle, horses and guns which they had recovered from the Tlokwa chief Sekonyela; they had threatened him with the fate of the Ndebela chief Mzilikaze whom they had driven from the Transvaal across the Limpopo River.

Dingane struck back. He knew of the fate of the Xhosa and was ready to defend his land and his people. When Retief came to his headquarters at Mgungundlovu in February 1838 with a hundred troops, to demand the surrender of Dingane they were arrested and executed. Prolonged warfare followed between the Zulu forces on the one hand and the Boers in the north and the British at Durban, on the other. Zulu impis suffered heavy casualties at the battle of Ncome ('Blood River') and elsewhere, but it was not until a major split took place within the Zulu nation that Dingane's power was broken. His brother Mpande broke away with 17 000 followers to join the Boers. In January 1840 Mpande's forces, 10,000 strong, together with a commando of 300 Boers and 460 Coloured and African troops overcame Dingane's army.

The Boers named Mpande King of the Zulu, subject to their short-lived Natal Republic (1838-1843) but they never succeeded in conquering the fighting spirit of the Zulu people, who were to continue their fight for freedom for many years and against far more formidable opponents.

In 1843 Great Britain annexed Natal. The Natal 'Republic' submitted without a fight to the British terms although these included a ban on slavery and another against legal discrimination on grounds 'of colour, origin, race or creed'. The latter provision was to remain illusory for the whole period of Natal as a British Colony, its system being even more illiberal than that of the Cape. Nevertheless the Boer trekkers packed up their wagons and departed again into the interior. By the end of 1847 nearly all of them had left Natal. Their place was taken by a flood of subsidised British immigrants of whom 5,000 arrived between 1849 and 1851.(12)

It is often asserted and fondly believed that the British settlers in South Africa and Rhodesia were and are less anti-African than Afrikaners and others. This proposition cannot survive serious examination of the record.

Sir Theophilus Shepstone, son of an '1820 settler' from Bristol, dominated African administration in Natal for its formative thirty years, first as 'Diplomatic Agent' and then as Secretary for Native Affairs (1853-1875). He must be regarded as virtually the father of modern apartheid. His policy, which later became the pattern for the 'native policy' of the entire country, included the herding of Africans into 'locations' and the use of traditional tribal authorities as instruments of colonial policy (with himself as 'paramount chief') long before the Nationalist Party, Dr. Verwoerd, and 'self-governing Bantu Homelands' were ever heard of.

Some idea of the attitude of the white settlers in Natal may be gleaned from a memorandum they submitted in 1854, in which they condemned the 'reckless extravagance' with which the British government had allocated 2 million acres to the Africans (estimated at 250,000) and 'only' 5 million acres to whites (about 18,000). This report, (C.0.879/1, PRO) recommending the reduction of African land by about three-quarters, split up into small locations and under rigid control, was submitted to London by the Lieutenant-Governor, B. Pine, with the recommendation that it was 'a most able official document.'

For the Zulu people, British rule meant the alienation of most of their traditional land and the imposition of a 'hut tax' yielding over £5,000 a year. Since the death of Mpande in 1872 there had been a revival of national spirit and resistance under the leadership of his son Cetshwayo.

At the beginning of 1879 Britain began a war to break the spirit and independence of the Zulu nation. Three columns commanded by Lord Chelmsford invaded Zululand. Within two weeks it was to undergo one of the most crushing defeats ever suffered by British forces anywhere, at the battle of Isandhlawanda on 22 January. With their assegais and spears the Zulu impis launched an attack on a fortified camp of 1,800 British troops. Within a few hours only 400 British survived. Of this battle, Frederich Engels commented that the Zulu

'did what no European army can do. Armed only with pikes and spears, and without firearms, they advanced under a hail of bullets from breach loaders, right up to the bayonets - acknowledged as the best in the world for fighting in close formation - throwing them back in disorder and beating them back more than once; and this despite the colossal disparity in arms'.(13)

This defeat aroused a tremendous storm in the British parliament. The upshot was a Cabinet decision: 'to restore British prestige, the Zulu nation was to be defeated'.

It cost many years of bitter fighting and the blood of thousands of brave men to implement that decision. In 1887 Zululand was annexed by the British, but it was not until 1906 with the crushing of the rebellion under the leadership of Bambata, that the last flames of traditional Zulu military resistance were extinguished. From then on the Zulu were to continue the struggle in new forms, as part of the emergent African nation and the united front of South African liberation. A similar story can be told of heroic African resistance in most parts of the country to the Boer and British interlopers.

Despite the period of turbulence and chaos (the 'Difaqane') that followed the establishment of the Zulu kingdom, which affected African societies far within modern Lesotho, the OFS, Transvaal and beyond, new and larger units had grown up and an era of regeneration had begun. The Trekkers encountered strong and effective opposition. An early expedition under van Rensburg was wiped out by the Tsonga of the north-east Transvaal in 1836.

A large party of Nguni people headed by Mzilikazi - they came to be known as the Ndebele - had broken away from Shaka and succeeded in establishing a stable kingdom in the Transvaal and Orange Free State highveld. In 1836 they put up a stand against Potgieter's band of Voortrekkers. Although Mzilikazi had always welcomed friendly white visitors, he recognised the Boer intruders as a mortal threat. In October 1836 a major clash took place at the Battle of Vegkop, when the Boers were defeated and had to call upon the pro-Boer chief Moroka of the Barolong, who helped them escape to his place at Thaba Nchu. By the following year, joined by reinforcements from the Cape, the Voortrekkers hit back. In November 1837 after a nine-days battle at his headquarters at Kapain in the Transvaal, Mzilikazi retreated with his followers across the Limpopo, where they established a new 'Matabeleland.'(14)

Across the Orange River

Crossing the banks of the Orange River the Boers found their way barred by the Griqua and Sotho people, particularly by that formidable opponent Moshweshwe 1, founder of Lesotho, and one of the most astute generals and statesmen of his day, who repeatedly - but unsuccessfully - attempted to build a united front of African resistance.

There were two Griqua states recognised as such by treaties signed by Britain with their leaders, Andries Waterboer and Adam Kok. Made up of Coloured people, mainly of Khoikhoi descent, they had left the Cape Colony to escape the degrading colour bar and set up free and independent states. Waterboer's Griqualand West was situated in the region of modern Kimberley. Kok and his people were settled north of the Orange River, with their capital at Phillipolis.

Moshweshwe likewise had a treaty with the British, signed by Governor Napier in 1843, recognising the boundaries of Lesotho as 'all the land between the Orange and the Caledon Rivers plus a belt about 25 to 30 miles north of the Caledon'.

All these treaties were shamefully betrayed when it suited British imperialists interests to do so. The Afrikaner settlers occupied Griqua lands and a number of disputes flared up into open warfare in 1845. The British intervened in favour of the Afrikaners. In 1854 - following a brief period in which Britain formally annexed the 'Orange River Sovereignty' (the present O.F.S. province) - the British signed the 'Bloemfontein Convention' conferring independence on the Boers and virtually abandoning the Griquas.(15)

Under the rule of Moshweshwe, and the protection of his impregnable fortress of Thabu Bosiu, the Kingdom of Lesotho was developing into one of the most powerful and stable nations in Southern Africa, inflicting a number of historic defeats on both Boer and British forces.

The British abrogated their treaty of 1843 recognising the frontiers of Lesotho and in 1849 laid down the 'Warden Line' in which a large area of the country was 'presented' to the Boers.

However 'Warden found that it was one thing to draw a line on a map; another to enforce it' (Thompson, op. cit. p. 419). Continued conflicts broke out between Moshweshwe's people, in alliance with the Taung under Moletsane, and the Afrikaners acting in concert with Moroka and others. Warden 'abandoned all pretence at impartiality and, mustering a composite force of whites, Africans and Coloured people, he attacked Moletsane's villages on Viervoet mountain; but Moshweshwe's Sotho came to the aid of the allies and inflicted a crushing defeat on Warden (30th June, 1851)'. (ibid ).

The British, under the new Governor. Cathcart, decided to avenge this defeat and restore the prestige of British arms. A British force of 2,000 infantry and 500 cavalry crossed the Caledon to teach the Basotho 'a lesson'. But they were ambushed by Sotho horsemen and infantry and forced to retreat in disorder after a severe mauling.

During the incessant aggressive wars which the Orange Free State conducted against Lesotho from 1865 to 1868, Moshweshwe's people were crippled by the ban on the sale of weapons which the Boers could freely obtain from the Cape and Natal. British imperialism, in the Sand River Convention of 1852, recognised the independence of the Transvaal and agreed 'that no objection shall be made by the emigrant Boers purchasing their supplies of ammunition in any of the British colonies . . . it being mutually understood that all trade in ammunition with the native tribes is prohibited'. The Boers never succeeded in conquering Lesotho or destroying its independence. But their superiority in weapons, and their constant raids into the country, seizing great herds of cattle, ravaging crops and wrecking villages, wrought havoc upon the Basotho. Moshweshwe, who had for so long and so skilfully maintained his kingdom in the precarious area between British and Afrikaner threats to its independence, was compelled to accept a British-dictated settlement as the price of 'protection' by the Queen's government. The terms were harsh indeed. A meeting between British and Free State representatives in Aliwal North (1869) - from which the Basotho were excluded - agreed to deprive Lesotho of all its territory west of the Caledon river, and expelled Moshweshwe's ally, Moletsane, and his Tuang people from their traditional lands.

A Basotho deputation to London succeeded in delaying the implementation of the Aliwal North diktat until the year of Moshweshwe's death (March 1870). One far-reaching concession was won - no land in Lesotho could be sold or alienated to any white settler.

But in essence, under the hammer-blows of the unholy alliance of British and Boer colonialism, the independence of Lesotho was not to be regained even formally, for a hundred years.(16)

Resistance in the Transvaal

The Afrikaners who had crossed the Vaal River, forming various Republics (they were not amalgamated into the South African Republic until 1860) strove continually and often vainly to subdue the African societies whose lands they had entered. This was attempted sometimes by trickery - the signing of various 'treaties' which they afterwards claimed as 'title deeds', as had been tried with Dingane - more often by violence. The Africans stood up to the invaders. During nearly all of their existence the Transvaal Republics were engaged in wars against various tribes.

In the eastern Transvaal the Pedi chiefdom of Sekwati and his successor Sekhukhuni held its own for many years in their mountain fastnesses. In 1852, after beating off a sustained Voortrekker attack Sekwati signed an agreement with the Lydenburg Republic recognising the Steelpoort River as the eastern boundary of his kingdom. Sekhukhuni continued his policy of consolidation. He welcomed refugees and also German missionaries of the Lutheran Berlin Missionary Society. But in 1866 he expelled these after bluntly telling their leader Merensky 'You are spies of the Boers'.

In the north the Venda chiefs defeated the Afrikaners in 1867, compelling them to retreat from the Soutpansberg.

In the west a number of Tswana chiefdoms held up the advance of the Boer land-robbers: the Kwena under Chief Sechele at Dimawe and Kolobeng; the Ngwaketse under Chief Gaseitsiwe at Kanye; the Ngwato in the north led by Chiefs Sekgoma and Macheng in the Shoshong region.

In 1852 the Boers made a determined effort to subject the Tswana people around the Marico district. Their Commandant called the chiefs to a meeting and told them they had to pay taxes and supply labour to the white farmers. Sechele, who had boycotted the meeting, became the focus of resistance; and a Boer Commando came to his place at Dimawe demanding that he hand over Chief Mosiele of the Mmanaane-Kgatla who had taken refuge with him. Sechele refused, whereupon the Commando attacked Kwena and Ngwaketse towns, sacked the residence of Sechele's missionary David Livingstone (then on a visit to the Cape) ravaged the crops and seized over 200 women and children as slaves. Nevertheless the Kwena and Ngwaketse, like their northern neighbours, the Ngwato, preserved their independence for many years, until like Lesotho they were absorbed by the British Empire as 'Bechuanaland Protectorate' (now Botswana).

The laws relating to Africans in the Boer Republics were, as might be expected, intolerably harsh and degrading. The watchword 'no equality in Church or state' was written into the Transvaal Grondwet (constitution). Only white persons enjoyed the franchise or any other citizen rights. Africans were not allowed to have firearms, ammunition or horses, or to move without a pass. Apart from the four African families allotted to each white farmer to do the farm work, the chief of each location had to pay taxes and to conscript labour for the whites. Africans thus impressed had to work for up to a year for a farmer - 'wage': one heifer for one year's work - or serve as 'auxiliaries' in the Boer Commandos' anti-African wars.

This form of near-slavery was supplemented by a system o£ 'apprenticeship' whereby African children 'captured hl warfare' could be held by Boer farmers to work without pay, up to the age of twenty-five. This thinly disguised form of slavery. was legally sanctioned, with the proviso - a sop to British and international opinion - the 'apprentice' could not be sold to another master.

The only reason why these laws were not thoroughly and systematically implemented was that the Republics lacked the means to enforce and administer them in the face of ever-alive African resistance. The white population of the Transvaal numbered not much more than 30,000 in 1870, compared with about 200,000 in the Cape.(17) There was no regular standing army, and the police and civil services were negligible. The Republic was perennially bankrupt.

The Boer societies were non-progressive in their economic aspect. Each farmstead was an economic unit and they had little need for money except for those commodities which they needed - textiles, coffee etc. - and which were supplied by shopkeepers in the villages and travelling pedlars, mainly of foreign origin, Indian, British, Jewish and others.

Practically all the hard farm work was done by African labour and that of the Coloured retinue imported without their consent from the Cape.

Looked at from one level the Afrikaner society appeared democratic and egalitarian: there were no great divisions of wealth and class amongst them. But in fact it was a community based upon the brutal conquest and servitude of the majority of the people of the country, .the appropriation of land and the exaction of forced, unpaid labour. The Boer Republics sought to perpetuate the economic structure which had previously developed under the rule of the Dutch mercantilists; to escape from and avoid the capitalist system of commodity production and the exploitation of paid labour. It was a vain attempt.

The Cape and Natal Colonies

During the course of the nineteenth century, capitalist relations and British colonialism had been imposed upon the people of the Cape and Natal, at the cost-of millions of pounds and untold bloodshed and destruction.

Seventeenth and eighteenth century Dutch penetration was experienced by the Africans mainly as a series of incursions of robber bands intent on seizing land and cattle. Nineteenth century British colonialism was another matter, infinitely more formidable, and intent not only on annexing African land for occupation by British unemployed settlers, but also to destroy the Africans' traditional way of life and 'convert' them - with an army of professional soldiers, missionaries and traders - into docile proletarians, producers and consumers withing the capitalist system of the British empire.

With the spectacular growth of Britain's manufacturing industry and the ascendancy of the industrial bourgeoisie, the main motive of British foreign and colonial policy shifted to the export of British manufactures. For the bourgeoisie the Empire became not merely a supplier of indigenous products, but a vast captive market for the sale of British textiles and other machine-made goods, and supplier of raw materials produced on a commodity basis by the super-exploitation of cheap colonial wage labour.

Apologists for imperialism dwell upon such phenomena as the existence of a degree of self-government and a Parliament, as well as the abolition of slavery, to support their contention that a more enlightened and benevolent administration existed in the Cape Colony and Natal. In fact, 'Cape Liberalism' was little more than a facade. The vote for the Parliament was at all times based on property and educational qualifications which could for the most part be attained only by whites; African and Coloured voters never amounted to more than a fraction of the electorate.

Behind this facade was the brutal reality: the destruction of the subsistence economy of the Africans, to turn them into providers of labour power and consumers of British manufactures. This purpose was achieved by the alliance of British imperialism and white settlers at the Cape. The process was frankly revealed by the pro-imperialist British historian, Cory:

'The only really effective tactics (against the Xhosa) were to burn his huts and kraals, to drive off his cattle, to destroy his corn and other food, in short to devastate his country.' (Sir George Cory: The Rise of South Africa, Vol. V, p. 365 ).

In the words of John Fairbairn, pioneer fighter for press freedom, writing in July 1835:

The atrocity of the proceedings of the colonialists is without parallel among civilised people. The Kaffirs are termed savages, but it is the colonists who are most entitled to that appellation.

Together with the dispossession and proletarianisation of the Africans, British colonialism wrought far-reaching changes in the rural and urban areas of white settlement. The former semi-subsistence farming of the Boers was increasingly replaced by capitalist agriculture to supply raw materials (especially wool) for the British market. The sea-ports, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban grew into expanding urban centres with the consequent substructures of commerce and light industry, and stratification of the population. Wealthy merchants and exporters dominated the social and political life of the country; artisans and others began to form trade unions. Many of these were emigrants from Britain, and their unions were often established as branches of bodies with their headquarters in England.

Though established much later than the Cape Colony, the British administration in Natal followed a similar path of development. The military power of the Zulu nation having been broken, large tracts of their lands were appropriated for white settlement, though they long resisted the process of proletarianisation.

An important development was the introduction of Indian workers to work in the Natal sugar fields.

Lacking, at that time, the means to force the Zulu people to work for them, the white planters succeeded, after much lobbying, in securing an arrangement to import indentured labourers from India on an indenture system. From 1860 to 1866 about 6,500 Indians, many of them with their families, were brought in. Though subjected, from the start, to the usual harsh discriminatory treatment, they made their homes in South Africa and came in time to outnumber the whites in Natal.

Their struggle for citizenship rights was to parallel and in time to merge with that of the Africans for national liberation.

Both in the Cape and Natal colonies, following the pattern of white settler populations in North America and Australasia, the local capitalist class sought increasingly to establish a greater degree of autonomy (but not separation) from Britain. The Cape Colony in particular strove to extend its own area of domination, conducting a war of extermination in Southern Botswana (then 'British Bechuanaland') and a fruitless military campaign (the 'Gun War') to disarm the Basotho.

By the end of the nineteenth century the indigenous people of Southern Africa had experienced successive phases and varieties of colonialism.

The earlier phase of Dutch mercantile settlement, accompanied by the limited penetration and pillage of white settlers, had been followed by the devastating impact of British imperialism of the era of its domination by the manufacturing bourgeoisie.

An even more intensive phase of domination and exploitation was to follow.

The world capitalist economy was rapidly moving towards its final stage, brilliantly analysed by V. I. Lenin in his definitive work Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism, a stage in which great monopolies arose, in which banking capital merged with industrial capital in the major powers, resulting in the complete domination of their economic life and hence their state structure by giants of monopoly finance-capital. These sought ever more intensively to export capital to areas of higher profitability, especially in areas of underdevelopment, the source of rich resources and cheap labour. The effects were fierce competition between the major powers to seize colonies and the complete parcelling out of the entire world between them. The subsequent clash between the powers as they sought to redivide it was to explode into the imperialist world war of 1914-18. By the closing years of the nineteenth century the process was well under way, strongly influencing the course and direction of British policy.

In South Africa there were dramatic developments decisively determining the course and direction of British policy in that area, and accelerating the growth of imperialism itself. These were the discovery of the fabulously rich mineral resources in the interior: diamonds in Griqualand West and gold in the Transvaal.

These developments decisively affected the future course of South African history. A new era had begun, leading to the British occupation of the remaining African lands and Boer republics, the establishment of the Union of South Africa, and the birth of the revolutionary working class and national liberation movements.


1. See, among other works, the pioneering article by M. A. Jaspan, 'Civilisation in Southern Africa before European Conquest' (Liberation, Johannesburg No. 14, November 1955); The Oxford History of South Africa Vol. 1 (ed. Leonard Thompson and Monica Wilson, London 1969); African Societies in Southern Africa (ed. Leonard Thompson, London 1969).

2. From the similarity of the word for 'people' (bantu or batho) in their languages. Unfortunately the coinage is acquiring a derogatory connotation through its misuse by the white authorities. The group includes peoples of Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and further to the North.

3. M. F. Katzen, Oxford History Vol 1. p. 190

4. M. F. Katzen, op. cit. p. 20i.

5. lbid p. 205

6. M. F. Katzen, Ibid p.212.

7. T. Pringle, Narrative of a Residence in South Africa, London 1335.

8. Leonard Thompson, Oxford History, Vol 1, p. 345.

9. Oxford History, Vol. I, p. 406.

10. Waarom die Groot Trek Geslaag het. (Why the Great Trek succeeded) Communications of the University of South Africa, B.12, p.4.

11. Thompson, op. cit. p. 411.

12. *Alan F. Hattersley, The British Settlement of Natal: A Study in Imperial Migration (Cambridge,1950).

13. F. Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and The State. (Selected Works, Vol. II p.254).

14. Fifty years later. under Mzilikazi's son Lobengula, the Ndebele lost their independence to the mercenaries of Cecil Rhodes and his British South Africa Company.

15. By 1861, finding independence impossible under Boer rule, Adam Kok III abandoned the Orange Free State and trekked with his entire people through Lesotho and over the Drakensberg, to found the new Republic of Griqualand East at Kokstad. But by the end of the 1870's the rich land attracted the greed of white farmers and the territory was annexed to the Cape Colony. Thus ended the last independent Coloured State in South Africa.

16. Lesotho gained formal independence from Britain on 4 October 1966.

17. The OFS with its much smaller settler population (about 13,000) did not even attempt such a comprehensive system of control and regimentation.