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Two important and helpful newspaper articles on the place and role of whites in South Africa appeared in July — one by former public protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela, and the other a column by the editor of the Sunday paper City Press , Mondli Makhanya.
She compares the situation caused by past dispossession to a Monopoly game a wicked analogy, Advocate where one team was not allowed to play until after the other team had bought all the properties, houses and hotels on the board. An alternative scenario is that of two athletics teams, the pinks and the blues, where the blues are given a head start in a race and the pink team is allowed to join only once equality is declared — resulting in only the fastest of the pinks catching up with the slowest of the blues.
Jan-Jan Joubert is an author, journalist and political commentator. He has covered Parliament since for various publications and journalism platforms, and was previously political editor of Die Burger, Beeld and Rapport , as well as deputy political editor of Sunday Times. Will South Africa be Okay?
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Find out More. Email Address. First Name. In truth it was no contest and after a few battles the Lozi forces were completely routed although total subjugation of Barotseland took around five years to complete. Sibituane made his capital at Naliele but moved south again to Linyanti present day Sangwali in Caprivi where he met Livingstone and Oswell in During the s and s trade with Cape Colony-based merchants opened up and enabled the Batswana chiefdoms to rebuild.
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The Bakwena, Bangwaketse, Bangwato and Batawana cooperated to control the lucrative ivory trade, and then used the proceeds to import horses and guns, which in turn enabled them to establish control over what is now Botswana. This process was largely complete by , and thus the Bushmen, the Bakalanga, the Bakgalagadi, the Batswapong and other current minorities were subjugated by the Batswana.
In a coalition of Tswana chiefdoms led by Sechele I resisted Afrikaner incursions which culminated with the pivotal showdown of the Battle of Dimawe fought with artillery and long range rifles as well as musket fire. Although it was the Boer Commando led by the Boer Commandant-General Pieter Scholtz and Paul Kruger , as an officer leading the Boer advance who started the offensive, it was they who ended up on the retreat followed by Batswana's retaliatory attacks into the then Transvaal 's Marique district in which Boer settlements, villages and farms were scotched.
After about eight years of intermittent tensions and hostilities, eventually came to a peace agreement in Potchefstroom in From that point on, the modern-day border between South Africa and Botswana was agreed on, and the Afrikaners and Batswana traded and worked together peacefully. When the amaNdebele arrived at Toteng, they thus found the village abandoned. But, as they settled down to enjoy their bloodless conquest, about seventy mounted Batawana under Kgosi Moremi's personal command appeared, all armed with breech-loading rifles.
In classic commando style the cavalry began to harass the much larger enemy force with lethal hit and run volleys. Meanwhile, another group of traditionally armed subjects of the Kgosi also made their presence known. At this point the amaNdebele commander, Lotshe, took the bait dividing his army into two groups.
One party pursued Moremi's small force, while the other fruitlessly tried to catch up to what they believed was the main body of Batawana.
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As the invaders generally lacked guns, as well as horses, Moremi continued to harass his pursuers, inflicting significant casualties while remaining unscathed. The primary mission of Moremi's men was not, however, to inflict losses on the enemy so much as to ensnare them into a well designed trap. His force thus gradually retreated northward towards Khutiyabasadi, drawing the amaNdebele to where the main body of defenders were already well entrenched.
As they approached the swamp area south Khutiyabasadi, Lotshe struggled to reunite his men, perhaps sensing that they were approaching a showdown. But, instead, Moremi's Batawana, now joined by Qhunkunyane's Wayeyi drew the amaNdebele still deeper into the swamps. In this area of poor visibility, due to the thick tall reeds, the Batawana and Wayeyi were able to employ additional tricks to lure the invaders towards their ultimate doom. At one point a calf and its mother were tied to separate trees to make Lotshe's men think that they were finally catching up to their main prize, the elusive Batawana cattle.
As they pressed forward the amaNdebele were further unnerved by additional hit and run attacks and sniping by small bands of Batawana marksmen. Certainly they could not have been comfortable in the unfamiliar Okavango environment. It was at Kuthiyabasadi that the defenders' trap was finally sprung.
At the time, the place was an island dominated by high reeds and surrounded to the west by deep water. In the reeds, three well armed Batawana regiments, joined by local Wayeyi, waited patiently. There they had built a small wooden platform, upon which several men could be seen from across the channel, as well tunnels and entrenchments for concealment. The amaNdebele were drawn to the spot by the appearance of Batawana cavalry who crossed the channel to the island in their sight.
In addition, cattle were placed on a small islet adjacent to Kuthiyabasadi, while a group of soldiers now made themselves visible by standing up on the wooden platform. Also at the location was a papyrus bridge that had been purposely weakened at crucial spots. Surveying the scene, Lotshe ordered his men to charge across the bridge over what he presumably thought was no more than a small stream. As planned, the bridge collapsed when full of amaNdebele, who were thus unexpectedly thrown into a deep water channel.
Few if any would have known how to swim. Additional waves of amaNdebele found themselves pinned down by their charging compatriots along the river bank, which was too deep for them to easily ford. With the enemy thus in disarray, the signal was given for the main body of defenders to emerge from their tunnels and trenches. A barrage of bullets cut through Lotshe's lines from three sides, quickly turning the battle into a one-sided massacre.