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Sechele And Warren 1885

Publishing Date : 15 May, 2018


This week’s illustration, from the August 1, 1885 edition of the British news magazine “The Graphic”, shows an elderly Kgosi Sechele I welcoming the arrival of the British General Charles Warren to Molepolole.

On January 27, 1885, the British Colonial Office had foreclosed the possibility of a linkup between German South-West Africa and the Transvaal Boers, by extending their authority over southern Botswana. Thereafter, in March 1885, Warren instructed to inform "Kings" Sechele and Khama about the development. Warren finally notified the Molepolole kgotla of their new status on April 27, 1885. In response Sechele’s son Sebele and others expressed their rejection of British rule. It then fell upon the Kgosi to conclude the proceedings. In comments to the General he stated:

"I do not know the exact object of your coming here. When we see you appear here we do not know if it will be life or death to us, but that we know it will be death to us if you do to us as the Boers do to the Bahurutshe. We shall be dead men if you do to us as the Boers did to the Bakgatla at Rustenburg. If you talk merely in parables we shall not understand you easily.

“I have seen a newspaper in which it is said I asked for protection, also Gaseitsiwe and Khama. I do not understand this asking. The Bakwena were collected together as they are now when I went to the Cape to get guns and powder to defend myself with. I went with Sanwe, Mr. Sam Edwards, here. There are others who can testify if I ever asked for anything beside to be allowed to buy guns and powder; to be allowed to obtain weapons the same as what the Boers had, to defend myself against them.

As to our friendship I do not know why, because of that our country should be taken possession of. Why is known only to you white people and the missionary who lives here."



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