British Empire
The rise of the British empire - Africa
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Extract from a complaint in 1899 by white South African settlers against British businessman Cecil Rhodes
(Catalogue ref: DO 119/552)
Source 7a

To his Honour the State President and the Honourable Members of the Executive Council Pretoria.

Your Honour and Gentlemen,

The undersigned come before you with a humble request to assist us.

We are desirous of presenting the following complaints against the Right Honourable C.J. Rhodes of Rhodesia (Matabeleland) to the Honourable Government of this state.

1. Whereas an invitation was issued some time ago by Mr. C.J. Rhodes to the Africanders in the S.A. Republic and especially to the Transvaalers, to come and occupy the Northern portion of South Africa under a promise that those who accepted his invitation should receive for themselves properties (lands), and whereas many of us travelled thither in pursuance of that invitation and sacrificed everything for that object especially at the time of the war of 1896 against the Matabeles, on which occasion again Mr C.J. Rhodes distinctly promised in the presence of a great gathering at the time of the Commando, that all those Africanders who should give faithful service in that war should each receive a property for himself as soon as the war was over; ..

Source 7b

Mr C.J. Rhodes refused to fulfil his promise and we are thus by this action on his part, which we cannot describe otherwise than as a perversion of acquired rights, reduced to pitiable poverty. Starvation and poverty also prevail among us in Rhodesia.
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