Die verhouding tussen die Ngqika-stam en die Britse owerheid, 1806-1836

Punt, L. F. (Ludwig Friedrich) (1990-12)

Tesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 1990.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Friction is endemic in a frontier situation. Neither Xhosa, Briton nor Boer was blameless for the events. The Ngqika-British relationship must be seen against the background of this frontier friction. The Ngqika belong to the Xhosa tribe and are named after Chief Ngqika (1775-1829). Ngqika settled west of the Great Kei River after his grandfather, Rharhabe, seceded from the senior genealogical Xhosa tribe, the Gcaleka, in about 1760. Here he formed a separate chieftainship, the Rharhabe. After the Thembu killed his father, Ndlambe, the uncle of the five-year-old Ngqika, acted as regent. Ndlambe himself was ambitious and desired to extend his authority especiallly over the Suurveld-Xhosa. After Ngqika took control of the Rharhabe, his relationship with Ndlambe deteriorated. The Dutch rulers wanted the separation of the White colonists and the Xhosa in the Suurveld to be maintained. In 1780 the Fish River was determined as the Eastern frontier. On account of numerous conflicts, a number of frontier wars had already taken place before 1800. A clear policy was drafted in respect of Ngqika during the Batavian period. Firstly, Ngqika had to be prevented from being reconciled with his estranged uncle, Ndlambe and, secondly, he had to be treated as a "friend" only. This policy was to be pursued by the British from 1806. Ngqika was recognized as the Chief of all the Xhosa west of the Kei River. Therefore, negotiations were only to take place with him despite the fact that there were other independent chiefs. Ngqika had to ensure that stock-theft was terminated and that the Suurveld-Xhosa went to live east of the Fish River. Ngqika failed to understand the British policy of absolute boundary limits. Only after Ngqika became unpopular with the Xhosa and was humiliated in the 1818 defeat by Ndlambe at Amalinde, did the British come to his rescue. Ngqika was totally dependent on the British for the continuation of his authority as chief after the battle of Amalinde. Furthermore, he would have no options in any agreement or negotiations with the British. The Ngqika lost their homeland between the Kat and Keiskamma Rivers as stipulated in the 1819 agreement with Governor Somerset. Although the extent of this loss of land was relatively small, Ngqika was accused by the other Xhosa chiefs that he had ceded the "Neutral Territory" without their permission. In due course Ngqika realized that his friendship with the British had steadily undermined his authority. In 1821 Somerset attempted to abduct him and, in 1825, a shot was fired at one of his sons. These events led Ngqika to believe that the British considered him to be inferior, although he had never been involved in a war against them. The people of Ngqika adopted a different attitude towards the British after his death. The younger generation could not accept the fact that their father had ceded so much land to the British. The Sixth Frontier War (1835-1836) was chiefly a Ngqika war. After an alliance of two decades with the British, the Ngqika had to revolt against them in order to re-confirm their leadership among the Rharhabe.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Wrywing is endemies aan 'n grenssituasie. Nie die Xhosa, Brit of Boer was onskuldig aan gebeure nie. Teen hierdie agtergrond van grenswrywing rnoet die Ngqika-Britse verhouding gesien word. Die Ngqika behoort tot die Xhosa-stam-groep en is vernoem na kaptein Ngqika (+1775-1829). Nadat Ngqika se oupa, Rharhabe, teen ongeveer 1760 weggebreek het van die genealogies-senior Xhosa-stam, die Gcaleka, het hy horn wes van die Groot-Keirivier gaan vestig. Hier het hy 'n afsonderlike opperhoofskap, die Rharhabe gevorm. Nadat die vyfjarige Ngqika se vader teen die Thembu gedood is, het sy oom Ndlambe, namens horn as regent opgetree. Ndlambe was self ambisieus en wou sy gesag oor veral die Suurveld-Xhosa uitbrei. Nadat Ngqika beheer oor die Rharhabe oorgeneem het, het sy verhouding met Ndlambe versleg. Die Hollandse bewindhebbers wou skeiding tussen die blanke koloniste en die Xhosa in die Suurveld handhaaf. In 1780 is die Visrivier as Oosgrens vasgestel. Weens talle botsings het daar alreeds voor 1800 'n aantal grensoorloë plaasgevind. Gedurende die Bataafse tydperk is 'n duidelike beleid jeens Ngqika opgestel. Eerstens moes Ngqika verhoed word om met sy vervreemde oom, Ndlambe, versoen te raak en tweedens om Ngqika alleen as "vriend" te behou. Hierdie beleid sou vanaf 1806 deur die Britte voortgesit word. Ngqika is as opperhoof van al die Xhosa wes van die Keirivier erken. Daarom sou net met horn onderhandel word ondanks die feit dat daar nag ander onafhanklike Xhosa-kapteins was. Ngqika moes sorg dat veediefstalle beëindig word en dat die Suurveld-Xhosa oos van die Visrivier gaan woon. Ngqika het nie die Britte se beleid van absolute grensskeiding begryp nie. Nadat Ngqika by die Xhosa ongewild geraak het en in 1818 vernederend deur Ndlambe by Amalinde verslaan is, het die Britte tot sy redding gekom. Na Amalinde was Ngqika totaal vir die behoud van sy gesag as kaptein van die Britte afhanklik. Verder sou hy geen keuse by enige ooreenkoms of onderhandeling met die Britte hê nie. Gedurende die 1819-ooreenkoms met goewerneur Somerset het die Ngqika hul geboortegrond tussen die Kat- en Keiskammarivier verloor. Alhoewel die omvang van die grand verlies relatief klein was, sou Ngqika deur die ander Xhosa-kapteins beskuldig word dat hy die "Neutrale Gebied" sonder hul toestemming afgestaan het. Mettertyd het Ngqika besef dat sy vriendskap met die Britte al hoe meer sy gesag ondermyn het. In 1821 het Somerset probeer om Ngqika te ontvoer en 1825 is op een van sy seuns geskiet. Dit was vir hom 'n teken dat die Britte hom minderwaardig ag, alhoewel hy nooit in 'n oorlog teen hulle betrokke geraak het nie. Na Ngqika se dood sou sy mense 'n nuwe houding teenoor die Britte inneem. Die jonger geslag onder Maqoma kon nie aanvaar dat hul vader so baie grond aan die Britte kon afstaan nie. Die Sesde Grensoorlog (1835-1836) was hoofsaaklik 'n Ngqika-oorlog. Na twee dekades se verbindtenis met die Britte moes die Ngqika teen die Britte in opstand kom om weer hul leierskap onder die Rharhabe te bevestig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/68794
This item appears in the following collections: