The Establishment Of The Protectorate (Part 11) “Sebele Resists Colonial Rule”

By March 1892 southern Botswana was on the brink of war with the Bechuanaland Border Police (BBP) being reinforced at Gaborone camp in preparation for a possible assault on Molepolole.

The region had been drifting towards crisis since the May 1891 Order-in-Council. In October 1891 “Morena Maaka” Shippard used its authority to impose license fees on the Protectorate’s traders. When the southern dikgosi questioned his decree, they were told that they had no say in the matter. Despite this rebuke, Sebele decided to forbid Asian and Boer merchants operating in Kweneng from paying the fees, arguing that they were not the Queen’s Englishmen.

In February 1892 Shippard’s new Deputy Commissioner for the Southern Protectorate, William Surmon, tried to force the Kweneng traders to pay. Surmon’s post had also been created in October 1891 “with the view of keeping in check the somewhat turbulent Chiefs Linchwe and Sebele.”
When BBP tried to close an Asian shop for non-payment, Sebele had it reopened. Thereafter, two policemen tried to collect payment from a Boer trader but were stopped by a Bakwena mob. Sebele informed the police that “he refused to allow anyone trading on his ground to pay any license whatever; he was the man to whom licenses had to be paid, not the English Government”.

Editor's Comment
Urgent call: Stop the killing!

The previous week, we had an article about a police officer shooting his wife, and turning the gun on himself, whilst he died, his wife survived and is still in the hospital.Sadly that was not the only article we carried on intimate partner killings. There was the Francistown case, where a young woman allegedly stabbed her ‘former boyfriend’ and many others which were reported throughout the week.As all the reports were coming in, a Botswana...

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