Chapter Five
Troubles in Southern Bechuanaland. Kololo and Matebele Missions. Mackenzie and Warren. Occupation and Withdrawal

IN 1858 a number of Tlhaping from the neighbourhood of the Vaal River crossed into the Free State and raided Boer homesteads. A combined force of Transvalers and Freestaters retaliated by attacking the Tlhaping, killed Chief Gasebonwe and a number of his followers and demanded heavy reparations from Mahura1 who had left 'Old Lattakoo' where Moffat found him in 1829 and was now ruler of a section of the tribe at Taung.2 Mahura had taken no part in the foray but had merely sheltered his fugitive fellow-tribesmen. It should here be explained that since the days of Trüter and Lichtenstein's host, Molehabangwe, the Tlhaping, in accordance with the incurably fissiparous tendencies of the Tswana, had broken into sections.3 We have already seen that Mothibi had taken his people off to the neighbourhood of the Harts and Vaal rivers. On his death the tribe in that area split into at least three groups, one under Gasebonwe, son of Mothibi by the chief wife, whose fate we have just seen, the other under Mahura, and yet another under Jantje, who was also a son of Mothibi, and, like Mahura, by a lesser wife.

Suspecting that the missionaries were in league with the tribesmen and had supplied them with powder, and had also instigated Mahura

____________________
1
There is some contradiction in the records regarding the identity of this chief. Burchell ( Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa, Vol. II, p. 363) and the editor of the Andrew Smith Diary, (Vol. I, p. 216) describe him as a brother of Mothibi. Other brothers, according to Burchell, were Molala and Molema. Dr. van Warmelo, in his genealogical table of Tlhaping chiefs, lists the sons of Molehabangwe in the following order: Mothibi, Molala, Mahura and Saku ( "'The Tribes of Vryburg district'", Ethnological publications of the Native Affairs Department, Union of South Africa, No. 20, 1944, p. 38). The report of the Commissioners appointed to determine land claims and to effect a land settlement in British Bechuanaland, presented in 1886 (Blue Book C. 4889), also shows Mahura as son of Molehabangwe and brother of Mothibi. But John Mackenzie, in a genealogy of the Tlhaping royal family ( Austral Africa, Vol. I, p. 43) shows Mahura and Molala as sons of Mothibi--by lesser wives--while agreeing with Burchell that Molema was Mothibi's brother. Molema ( The Bantu, p. 39) agrees with Mackenzie. Chapman, Travels in the Interior of South Africa (Vol. I, p. 129) says that Mahura was brother to Gasebonwe, who was undoubtedly a son of Mothibi by the chief wife. Brown, Among the Bantu Nomads, states on p. 209 that Mahura was brother to Molehabangwe's son Mothibi, and on p. 210 that he was Molehabangwe's grandson. For conclusive evidence of his identity see, however, additional note by author at end of Introduction.
2
Also Taungs.
3
Brown, Among the Bantu Nomads, p. 209.

-36-

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