The Establishment Of The Protectorate (Part 14) – “The Secheleland Conspiracy”

Previously we noted that in his association with the “concessions king” Eduard Lippert, through the formation of the Secheleland Concession Syndicate as a counter claimant to Rhodes’ Chartered Company (BSACO), Kgosi Sebele I had placed himself in the position of the proverbial rabbit who joins forces with a hungry jackal in taking on the (British) lion.

The duplicity of Lippert and his associates is reflected in their notorious April 1891 “Humbug Concession” with the Amandebele Nkosi Lobengula. The documents for this concession were finalised after one of Lippert’s Matabeleland agents, Renny-Tailyour, was able to convince the Nkosi to attach his royal elephant stamp, along with various signatures to an otherwise blank sheet of paper, which was forwarded to advocate J.W. Leonard with what were allegedly notes in layman’s language detailing the agreement. The final document, of course, contained a great deal more than what the Amandebele monarch had bargained for.

As with Sebele, Lobengula and his indunas were apparently attracted by the prospect of undercutting the British Royal Charter claims of BSACO in their territory. While the full story of how Lippert’s men gained the Amandebele confidence only to betray it is a book unto itself, it is worth noting that the trust had been meticulously cultivated. Bulawayo agents, both European and African, on Lippert’s payroll had long been in the forefront of exposing and opposing Rhodes designs through activities as grand as the prospect of organising diplomatic missions to London and Berlin and as simple as availing and translating newspaper articles and other documents for the Nkosi.

Editor's Comment
Are police trigger-happy?

Unfortunately, that day turned sour for those who were shopping at Sefalana Cash and Carry in Gaborone West Industrial.The exchange of fire that ensued between members of the Botswana Police Service (BPS) and robbers who had allegedly robbed a G4S cash-in-transit vehicle left two civilians dead, three robbers struck down, and an undisclosed number of citizens wounded.One deceased civilian is reportedly an employee of the Citizen Entrepreneurial...

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