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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 193 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SOUTH AFRICA and CAPE COLONY). Here it is only necessary to state that the Voortrekkers were animated by an intense desire to be altogether rid of British control, and to be allowed to set up independent communities and govern the natives in such fashion as they saw fit. The first party to cross the Vaal consisted of 98 persons under the leadership of Louis Trichard and Jan van Rensburg. They left Cape Colony in 1835 and trekked to the Zoutpansberg. Here Rensburg's party separated from the others, but were soon afterwards murdered by natives.' Trichard's party determined to examine the country between the Zoutpansberg and Delagoa Bay. Fever carried off several of their number, and it was not until 1838 that the survivors reached the coast. Eventually they pro- ceeded by boat to Natal. Meantime, in 1836, another party of farmers under Andries Hendrik Potgieter had established their headquarters on the banks of the Vet river. Potgieter and some companions followed the trail of Trichard's party as far as the Zoutpansberg, where they were shown Potgieter. gold workings by the natives and saw rings of gold made by native workmen. They also ascertained that a trade between the Kaffirs and the Portuguese at Delagoa Bay already existed. On returning to the Vet, Potgieter learned that a hunting party of Boers which had crossed the Vaal had been attacked by the Matabele, who had also killed Boer women and children. This act led to reprisals, and on the 17th of January 1837 a Boer commando surprised Mosilikatze's encampment at Mosega, inflicting heavy loss on the Matabele without themselves ' Two small children were spared and brought up as Kaffirs. In 1867 they were given over to the Boer government by the Swazis, who had acquired them from their captors.
End of Article: SOUTH AFRICA

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