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Chapter XX The South African Races and the European War Oh! the Battle-bow is strung, The Banner is outflung: From lowlands and from valley, From mountain-tops, they rally! L. J. Coppin. Africa is a land of prophets and prophetesses. In the course of our tour of observation on the ravages of the Land Act, we reached Vereeniging in August, 1913, and found the little village astir because the local pastor, Rev. S. H. Senamela, was returning from a certain funeral service. To many of the people of the place the event seemed to be a momentous one, affecting as it appeared more people than would be ordinarily the case. The person whose death and funeral caused all this stir was a black seeress of Vereeniging, of whom it was said that in her lifetime she prophesied the Anglo-Boer War and some such situation as that created by the Natives' Land Act. Before breathing her last, this interesting lady (whose sayings carried great weight among the surrounding native peasants and the Dutch neighbours on the farms of that neighbourhood) had, it was said, uttered her last prophecy. It was to the effect that a great war would take place in the near future, amongst the white peoples of the country, that there would be much bloodshed, but that the survivors would live very peacefully with the native population. We are sorry now that we did not care to listen to the whole story when it was related, and we very much wish that we had remained to interrogate the narrator as to whether the black population that would thus remain to share life with the white survivors in South Africa would be a contented one, or whether they would be living in chains, of which the thraldom of coming events appears to be casting its shadow before. But at the time it sounded parlous to think that anything could interrupt the calm of the tolerant British colonists and egg them against their Dutch rulers, who call them foreign adventurers. Nor could we conceive of any reason why the Boers, who have now more freedom than they ever dreamt of possessing under their own flag, including the right to partially enslave the blacks, should suddenly rise up against the English, whose money and brains are ever at the beck and call of the Dutch! Here, however, is the war, predicted by the late native seeress, and evidently we have to make the best of it. The writer was in London at the end of July, 1914, when there were many disquieting reports about the activities of suffragettes, and when there were still more serious reports about the unlawful mobilization of volunteer armies in Ireland. It was in this exciting period that attention was at once transferred from Ireland to the Continent of Europe. There it seemed that every moment was ticking to drive us towards the greatest war that the world ever saw. And though matters grew hourly more serious, it did not then occur to the writer, a stranger then of only six weeks in London, that after seeing the capital of the Empire under conditions of peace, he was soon to see it under a war cloud filled with all the horrors of the approaching war storm and all the signs of patriotic enthusiasm. We were about to see Mafeking over again, but through the biggest magnifying glass. To walk along Oxford Street of an afternoon and see the multitudes of well-dressed women pouring into the streets from the underground stations (the "Tube" and the "Met", as they are called in the vernacular), round Charing Cross and Piccadilly, and see them walking up and down the thoroughfares and looking at the wares displayed in the dazzling shop windows; or to come down Bishopsgate of a morning and see the stupendous swarms of white men rushing to and fro along the pavements of Threadneedle Street, crowding the motor-buses round the Mansion House, St. Paul's and Ludgate Circus -- yet all this throng so well regulated by the City Police that nobody seems to be in the other's way -- the disproportion of men and women in the East and West respectively forming a partial segregation between the sexes: to see these myriads of humanity gave one the impression that if the Garden of Eden (whose whereabouts has not yet been defined) was not actually in London, then some very fertile human germ imported from the Garden must have been planted somewhere in the vicinity of Trafalgar Square, or the Elephant and Castle. These great masses of people when the war broke out were swept over, as already indicated, by a wave of patriotism, and sections of them reinforced by a regular inflow from the provinces, and foreign tourists -- Americans, Scandinavians, Orientals and Colonials -- rushing back from the danger zone on the Continent, stranded in London with their pockets bulging with useless credit notes, all these joined the buzzing groups in Fleet Street in scanning the latest telegrams posted at the windows of the newspaper offices, or, going to Hyde Park, they listened to the open-air speeches delivered there. In this gamut of personalities and nationalities there were, at first, faint murmurs by some of the English against their country joining the strife and in favour of her remaining neutral and leaving the Continentals to "stew in their own juice". But when German seamen laid mines in the English Channel, and capped their deeds by sinking the `Amphion' and the `Pathfinder', with hundreds of officers and men, the "protestants" found that their efforts were out of date and that their arguments could have held water in the good old days, before the declaration of war, but not after. For the silent determination of the London crowds, of both sexes and all colours, was so emphatic that one could almost read it in their thoughts, and see it, as it were, percolating through every fibre of their systems. If the weaker races of the world -- (and which race is weaker than the coloured?) -- are ever to enjoy rest, then the great Powers must avenge the violation of the neutrality of Belgium. Early in August, we left London to visit the Scottish capital, and as far as the swiftness of the North British Railway would allow a glimpse, the country towns and villages of the north appeared to be swarming with Territorials in khaki. A painful sight at some of the stations was the number of restive horses forced into the railway trucks by troopers -- beautiful, well-fed animals whose sleek appearance showed that they were unaccustomed to the rough life to which the Tommies were leading them. Further, it was sad to think that these noble creatures by their size were to be rendered easy targets for the marksmen of the enemy's forces, and that they would in addition be subjected to the severity of inclement weather conditions, to which they likewise were unaccustomed. At Edinburgh, the Cameron Highlanders marched along some of the streets in their battalions, flinging the Highland kilt like the plaited reeds of so many thousands of Bojale* girls. Handsome young Scotchmen, all of them, and it was shocking to think that these fine young fellows in the flower of their youth were going to be fired at with a set purpose to kill them as if they were a flock of springbuck on a South African veld. Surely it is time that civilization evolved a less brutal and less savage form of warfare! On Sunday evening we attended divine service at St. Giles's Cathedral, and the critical political situation permeated the entire service. This feeling was not lessened by the announcement that one of the gallant boys who sank with the `Amphion' was a son of one of the sidesmen of St. Giles's. It was war as unmistakable as it was grim. -- * Bechuana circumcision rites. -- After the declaration of war between Great Britain and Germany, the Irish tension at once died away. The self-constituted opposing armies of Dublin and Belfast, or rather Ireland and Ulster, came forward and offered themselves and their arms to the Imperial authorities. They were anxious to proceed at once to the Continent and assert British prestige on the battlefield; the suffragettes likewise at the outbreak of the war declared a truce and offered their humble services to the Empire. "More power to their hatpins!" But how about South Africa, the baby-member of the British family? Where does she come in? Within a week after the outbreak, Mr. Harcourt sent the following dispatch to the Governors-General of Canada, Australia and New Zealand: -- == Please communicate to your Ministers the following message from His Majesty and publish: "I desire to express to my people of the overseas Dominions with what appreciation and pride I have received the messages from their respective Governments during the past few days. The spontaneous assurance of their fullest support recalls to me the generous self-sacrificing help given by them in the past to the Mother Country. I shall be strengthened in the discharge of the great responsibilities which rest upon me by the confident belief that in this time of trial my Empire will stand united, calm, resolute, trusting in God. -- George R.I." == More offers of men and money came from the Dominions; and when such well-deserved Royal encomiums are showered on the already laurelled heads of other dominions, a self-respecting South African like ourselves walked the streets with a drooping head. And when our kinsmen in West Africa under the leadership of British officers, annexed German Togoland rather early in the campaign, we found these questions reverting in our thoughts: What is our Government doing? When is it going to move? Surely our Prime Minister, who is also Minister of Native Affairs, should now postpone the constant pampering of the back-velders, hang colour prejudice for a more peaceful time, call out the loyal legions -- British, Boer, and Black -- and annex German South Africa without delay! As a British General and Minister of Native Affairs, he should himself lead the black contingents and leave the whites to be led by their regular officers. At the beginning of August, a special meeting of the South African Native Congress was called at Bloemfontein, first to express its disappointment at the cold reception given to the native deputation by the Imperial Government; and secondly, to express its thanks to the British public for the kind reception given to the deputation; and thirdly, to devise ways and means for the deputation to tour the United Kingdom on a mission, revealing to the British people the manner in which the Colonial Government discharges its trust to the coloured people. Many of the delegates to the Congress had travelled long distances by rail and road, but on their arrival at Bloemfontein it was only to learn that war had broken out between Great Britain and Germany. Hence the Native Congress, in view of the situation, resolving itself at once into a patriotic demonstration, decided to hang up native grievances against the South African Parliament till a better time and to tender the authorities every assistance. Mr. Dube, the president of the Congress, who had just returned from England in time for the conference, proceeded direct to Pretoria with the Executive, to lay at the feet of the Government this offer of service made by the Native Congress. Offers of service poured into the administrative capital from native chiefs and people in all parts of the country. Magistrates who held meetings in their districts on the instructions of the Government to explain the situation to the Natives received similar offers. And besides all these, offers of service also came from the Zulu chiefs and headmen, from Chief Dalindyebo of the Tembus, Marelana of the Pondos, and from Griffiths of Basutoland. In Bechuanaland, the veteran Chief Khama and other Bechuana chiefs offered the services of native warriors as scouts in German South West Africa, and the Swazi princes offered a Swazi impi, besides undertaking to help in any other manner, as they did in the campaign against Sekukuni in the 'seventies. The members of the native deputation in England were longing to catch the first steamer back to South Africa to join their countrymen and proceed to the front. But while all these offers were gratefully acknowledged, none were definitely accepted. Surely there must be something wrong. Is it that the wretched South African colour prejudice is exerting itself even in these critical times? At Pretoria, Captain W. Allan King, the popular Native Commissioner of the Pretoria District, held a meeting of Transvaal Natives, which amongst others was attended by His Worship the Mayor of the Union capital; and there again native offers of service were tendered. Mr. Makgatho, the chairman, in his denial of the report that appeared in the newspapers to the effect that "South Africa could not take the field as she had a native menace to watch", voiced the prevailing feeling of the Natives. Captain King, however, assured the Natives that no such slanders were uttered by the Government. He further reminded them that the Imperial Government was face to face with the biggest struggle that ever took place since the foundation of the world; and that there would be fighting on land, in the air, on the water and under the water. He urged the Natives to go to work as usual and see to it that there was no slackening of industries. He also made a plea for the abiding respect of the Natives to the German missionaries of the Transvaal, having regard to what those good men had done in bygone years for the evangelization of the Natives of that Province. How little did any one dream at the time that he was thus pleading for others, that Captain King would be among the victims of the war; and that he would fall, not from a German bullet, but from one fired by one of the Dutch traitors, in a brisk fight to quell the recent Boer rebellion. Ku mugama e Tipperary, E malandalahla; Ku mugama e Tipperary, Kwe sona standwa sam. Bhota, Piccadilly, Sala, Leicester Square, Kude le-le-le, e Tipperary 'Ntliziyo yam ikona. "Tipperary" in Xosa. White men wrote to the newspapers that as France, our great Ally, was using Native African troops, there could be no objection against England doing the same -- as if England had rejected the assistance of her coloured subjects pending a decision by France. A well-known Natal campaigner wrote to the authorities offering to raise a crack Zulu regiment composed of men who had formerly fought for the old flag against their own people. He said he felt certain that those Zulus could give as good an account of themselves against any regiment in the field as any force yet mobilized; but there was no definite acceptance of these offers by the Government. The native uncertainty that arose from this attitude of the South African Government went on until October, when our colleagues of the native deputation returned home from England and threw themselves into the vortex of the martial enthusiasm that was then sweeping through the country, and as no offers were accepted by the Government, Dr. Rubusana made to it the following further offer: -- == The Right Hon. the Minister of Native Affairs, Pretoria, Transvaal. Sir, -- Coming as I do so near from the scene of operations in Europe, I feel that something more practical than mere lip-loyalty is required from those who boast of the fact that they are British subjects, and are loyal to the British Crown, more especially during this present crisis. That being so, I am prepared to raise, if you deem it necessary, a native levy of 5,000 able-bodied men to proceed to German South-West Africa, provided the Government is prepared to fully equip this force for the front. I should, of course, be prepared to accompany them. I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, W. B. Rubusana. == == Reply. Union of South Africa, Department of Defence, Pretoria. November 2, 1914. Sir, -- With reference to your letter of the 20th ultimo, I am directed to state that the Union Government greatly appreciates the loyal sentiments which are being expressed by the native citizens of the Union. I am, however, to refer you to the provisions of Section 7 of the South Africa Defence Act, 1912, and to state that the Government does not desire to avail itself of the services, in a combatant capacity, of citizens not of European descent in the present hostilities. Apart from other considerations the present war is one which has its origin among the white people of Europe and the Government are anxious to avoid the employment of its native citizens in a warfare against whites. I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, H. B. M. Bourne, Secretary for Defence. Dr. W. B. Rubusana, East London, C.P. == General Botha was once confronted with a definite request to reconcile two conflicting declarations of policies enunciated by two members of his Cabinet, and in reply to that request he gave the following highly diplomatic explanation: "The one Minister has said things which should not have been said, and the other Minister had said things which should have been said in a different way." If there is one document which contains things that should not have been penned, or that should have been differently worded, surely it is the document we have just quoted. Fancy refusing native assistance in the present world's war on the ground of colour! For weeks before Dr. Rubusana sailed from Europe the Turcos and Algerian and Moroccan troops had been doing wondrous deeds on the Continent for the cause of the Allies. These coloured troops also included a regiment of wealthy Natives from North Africa who had come to fight for France entirely at their own expense -- a striking evidence of what the Empire is losing through the South African policy of restricting native wages to one shilling a day, in a country where the cost of living is about the highest in the world. The Union Government rejected the native offer a week after Lord Roberts laid down his life, having delivered the appreciation of a grateful Empire to the gallant Indian regiments who with distinction were participating in the same war; and a month after the first German General Freise was captured in the course of a daring charge by North African Natives from the French Colonies; ten days after the Germans at Tsiengtau had surrendered to the British and Japanese forces; and nearly three weeks after the Germans had successfully involved Turkey in the strife; and while the Canadian troops on Salisbury Plain included Red Indians. Where, then, is the wisdom of telling Dr. Rubusana, who knows all these facts, that the Government's rejection of the native offer is due to the fact that the present struggle is an all-white one? The truth of the matter is that the South African Government worships an idol, which was best described by Sir Gordon Sprigg as "the demon of ignorance and prejudice", and the claims of this fetish in South Africa precedes those of the Empire. Under the old Republics we had a law which since the Union has become the unwritten law of South Africa. In this law it is laid down that a coloured policeman shall not lay his black hands on a white man even if he found him red-handed in the commitment of a crime. The duty of a coloured policeman in such circumstances would be to look around for a white constable and report the misdemeanour to him. Rather than suffer the humiliation of a black official taking a white criminal into custody white South Africa would prefer to have the country overrun with white criminals, ergo, if the safety of the Crown is at stake and it could be saved only by employing black men, we would much rather let the Crown go than suffer the humiliation of seeing black warriors resisting a white enemy. If there is one point upon which white South Africa is agreed, it is that the claims of South Africa come first and those of the Empire afterwards. The "bitter-enders" go further: they say that "the Empire comes handy only in so far as it is useful to us, but when we have sucked it dry, like an orange, it must be thrown away."* It may be that the blacks have their reasons for objecting to these creeds: they would prefer Imperial lines all the time, for Imperial lines are benevolent while South African lines are cruel; consisting largely of repression and slavery. -- * General Botha's reply to General Hertzog on the Ministerial crisis of 1912. -- There is a talk in South Africa, which unhappily is not confined to Dutch-speaking South Africans. It advocates the elimination of the Imperial factor, because that factor is said to interfere with colonial liberties, among which is the right to "correct" a Native in a manner that a colonial deems fit. Thus, under the inconvenience of the "pestilential Imperial factor", a colonial Magistrate was forced to fine General De Wet the sum of 5s. on his pleading guilty to having horse-whipped a Native. Under German rule, which threatened the Union, the liberty of chastising the Native according to colonial ideas would be extended, for the German method is that of the old "Free" State, where a Native used to be tied to a wagon-wheel and whipped. If he dies in consequence of the beating, his death was but a nominal offence. This state of things explains the determination of the native races to fight for the retention of the Imperial factor, or for what vestige of it still remains in the country. A native clergyman sends us the following letter. We are not quite certain if the reverend gentleman desired to enlist as a private or as a chaplain; anyway, this is what he says: == Can it be really true that we, too, belong to the British Empire? This war is growing in such dimensions that it is even affecting the King's household. The Prince of Wales has gone to the front, and His Majesty the King has also gone, yet we are told that we are not worthy on account of our colour to fight for our King and Empire. White men only must defend the King's Dominions while we remain behind with the women and children. Surely it cannot be the wish of the loyal Boers that we must not defend our Empire; it is only the wish of the rebels, and it seems that our Government will continue to study their feelings even while they are engaged in shooting down loyal people. == It would seem that the South African Government is so deeply in love with the Natives that they are scrupulously careful lest the Natives should singe so much as a hair in the present struggle, and that white men alone may shoot and kill one another. But, in point of fact, black men ARE required by the Union Government to proceed to the front as Government wagon drivers, driving provisions and ammunition wagons, and acting as orderlies to the white burghers. In these capacities they are exposed to all the risks and horrors of the war, yet even if they are shot, they must not, under any circumstances, be mentioned in the casualty lists, nor must they carry arms, lest their behaviour should merit recognition; their heroic deeds and acts of valour must, on account of their colour, not be recorded. These native drivers are classed with the transport mules, with this difference, that while the owner of a mule receives monetary compensation for each animal that falls on the battlefield, or is captured by the enemy, the Government's interest in the black driver ceases when he is killed. Suppose the services of these muleteers were recognized in a combatant capacity, some one might get it into his head to ask: "Why should loyal fighting taxpayers be debarred from the rights of the franchise that are liberally bestowed on white rebels and their relations, some of whom are said to contribute nothing towards the upkeep of the State?" So then to refuse these Natives the right to carry arms in defence of the Empire, and to send them to the front without arms, is to deprive such inquirers of this and similar arguments. On St. Patrick's Day, the `Westminster Gazette' appeared with a leading article, from which we make the following extract: -- == It will be impossible, when we have had the assistance of the Indian Army in Europe, to restrict the promotion of its officers in the manner laid down hitherto. It will also be impossible to restrict Natives of India WHO HAVE PROVED THEIR ABILITY AND EXPERIENCE BY LONG SERVICE in their own country TO POSITIONS IN WHICH THEY ARE SUBORDINATE TO THE RAWEST NEW ARRIVAL FROM THE COVENANTED SERVICE. All these discriminations which rest simply on race and are justified by no natural disability will have to be swept away, and new and more generous conditions laid down for the whole Indian public service. == Surely what is true in regard to the Indian public service is equally so in regard to that infallible South African taxing machine, the adjunct of the Union Civil Service, which is officially called the Native Affairs Department. There, raw recruits serve their apprenticeship while lording it over Natives who have proved their ability and experience by a quarter of a century's service in their own country. It is to prevent the application to South Africa of broad-minded views like those expressed by the `Westminster Gazette' that native Africans must not serve against the Germans. Therefore it seems to have occurred to the authorities that the best course is to engage the Natives in a capacity in which their participation will demand no recognition. These statements are not mere empty phrases, for the writer recently caused inquiries to be made through the Department of Native Affairs in South Africa as to whether there were any Coloured People who had been killed or wounded while on active service at the front. And the result was a long list of killed, wounded, and captured up to the end of October, 1914, among Natives and Coloured People who had not been mentioned in the casualty lists.* -- * When the enemy airmen attacked the British camp at Garub (G.S.W.A.), on March 27, 1915, and dropped bombs on General Botha's guns, Reuter says, "only one Native was slightly wounded." -- This deference to South African prejudice would at least seem reasonable if the King's enemies also had colour scruples. But so far from that being the case, Natives living far away from defended centres are always the first to suffer when a white man's war breaks out. In fact they are always subjected to indignities from which they would be immune if they had arms. One of the first steps taken by the "Free" State rebels under General De Wet during the recent rebellion was to dash for the nearest native owner of horses and annex their mounts. The unarmed proprietor's recourse in that case was to take to his heels and leave the rebels to plunder his stock. Any hesitation to run away has involved some unfortunate Native in the danger of being horsewhipped into the service of the King's enemies, and if he took the first opportunity to escape from the rebel commando, a detection of his act would positively have meant a bullet behind his neck. The late Dean Green of Natal, writing years ago, said: -- == "Every chief should have his own militia and police. Our common human nature tells us that it is the duty of every one capable of bearing arms to fit himself to be able to defend his country and Government. Were the Government to refuse permission to the chief to enrol his young men, it would inflict a wrong on them, against which their manliness would revolt. Our Government, however, is not established to alienate from us the native races, but to attach them to us by giving them full freedom to exercise under restraints of Christianity all those instincts and desires which are proper to their manhood. "The Houssas and Soudanese on the north, the negro tribes on the west, form part of the Imperial forces, and have shown themselves true, brave, and useful troops. On no possible ground of justice can the loyal Bantu tribes be placed under a ban, and refused to serve in the ranks for the defence of the Empire. A youth debarred from the legitimate opportunities of exercising his manly energies will become riotous and unruly, and addict himself, for the sake of excitement, to sheep-stealing, etc." == The `Christian Express', which has always acted as the mediator between the overbearing section of Colonial opinion on the one hand and the subject races on the other, tried to allay the disappointment of our people with the excuse that the Government refused the native offer on the ground that it desired to use men from the more advanced races who are capable of being more easily trained.* In the face of historical records, however, this argument will not hold a drop of water. British archives are overloaded with instances of the valour and tractability of the aboriginal races of South Africa no less than those of their nephews, the Cape Coloured People. Not having enough space to enumerate them at length we may only refer to two instances of recent date. -- * The `Express' is now advocating the raising of an army of 100,000 Natives. -- During the South African war, the writer was asked by the military authorities to recruit twelve young Natives to act as scouts in the Western Transvaal. The young fellows were handed to Sergt. Clemens of the Cape Police for training. Three days after they were enrolled we met the Sergeant, who was highly pleased with his "raw recruits". He told us with evident satisfaction that, after he had given them oral instructions in the handling and use of firearms, he took them to the range to try them at shooting; and all but two of them hit the bull's eye with the first attempt. This is but one isolated instance which is typical of the rest. It is doubtful if any white man is a greater authority on the character of the Zulus than Mr. R. C. Samuelson of Natal. Writing on the outbreak of the European war and the advisability of raising native levies, he said: -- == During the late rebellion I was captain and adjutant of 350 men composed of men, half of whom were Christians and the other half heathens of the Amangwane, a section of the Amabomyu tribe, who at the beginning of the rebellion were raw recruits, but who, after three months' drill and manoeuvring, were as expert in their drill and use of the rifle and riding as any corps in the field. In all my dealings with all these men and many more, I found them most attentive, most orderly, most careful about their arms, most alert on duty, perfectly reliable, and in and out loyal to the Government and those they were under. Having been a volunteer for many years, and a cadet at college in the Cape, I can safely say that I never found our people as a body so easy to manage and train in the military art, and so orderly and attentive as these natives were. I had the honour to be called upon to summon 50 of the Zulu war and Boer war heroes to be reviewed by the Duke of Connaught; many of these had the Zulu war medal on, which the Duke took special notice of, but the Boer war medal was not there. These people were highly complimented by the Duke, and afterwards gave a free concert to the Royal party in the Maritzburg Town Hall, which was attended by immense crowds, the chief song of the evening being a Zulu song specially prepared by these men, and set to music by them, in honour of the Royal party, which was also embossed and presented to the Royal party. The Royal party expressed their appreciation by sending forward to me one of the officers in waiting on them to thank the singers. "Izwe Lakiti" Aug. 12, 1914. == The writer has received several letters expressing the native resentment of the idea that they should fold their arms and cogitate while other British subjects, irrespective of colour, are sacrificing their lives for the defence of the Empire in this, the darkest period of His Majesty's reign. Our reply to each of these letters was that the natives should subscribe, according to their small means, to the several war funds; and our latest information is that they are subscribing to the Prince of Wales' Fund, the Governor-General's and the Belgian Relief Fund. When we last heard from home the Basutos had given 2,700 Pounds to the National Relief Fund, the list being headed by Chief Griffiths with a donation of 100 Pounds. Chief Khama of Bechuanaland gave 800 Pounds, Chief Lewanika of Barotseland 200 Pounds, Chief Lekoko and two other Chiefs, each 30 Pounds, while the Zulus, Tembus and Pondos were still collecting. At Kimberley the Natives gave concerts for the benefit of the Mayor's Relief Fund. At their Beaconsfield concert the Kimberley Band under Herr Carl Rybnikar, known as the best volunteer band in South Africa, attended and gave selections; and Chief Molala of the Batlhaping gave General Botha 200 bullocks to feed the Union troops. In April 1915 the Minister of Native Affairs gave the following testimony of native loyalty and co-operation. Speaking from his place in Parliament Mr. Malan said -- "he thought it his duty to say that the attitude of the large number of the Natives entrusted to their care, all through the troubles, had been most exemplary and most patriotic. There was one exception to which he would refer,* but from the commencement, from all parts of the Union, resolutions came to the Government of expressions of loyalty on the part of the Natives, and of their support in the measures Government was taking in connexion with the war. They (the Natives) gave oxen and supported liberally, according to their means, the different patriotic funds which had been established, and generally gave the Government every assistance. The Government had been able to enrol between 23,000 and 24,000 Natives for service in German S.W. Africa, in building railways and in transport work. The chief of the Tembus had volunteered to send his own son to German S.W. Africa for the purpose of superintending the members of his tribe, a large number of whom had volunteered for the front. All that spoke well for the Natives, and he would be neglecting his duty if he did not testify to that." -- * The "one exception" referred to by Mr. Malan was the Hlubis of Matatiele district, who forcibly resisted the cattle dipping regulations because, they said, the frequent dipping killed their cattle. -- In opening the Rhodesian Legislative Council, on April 28, Mr. Administrator Chaplin concluded by saying that the behaviour and attitude of the native population since the outbreak of the war left nothing to be desired. All information available showed that any attempts by emissaries of the enemy to stir up trouble would fail to meet with support. "Numerous expressions of loyalty to His Majesty have come from leading Chiefs, taxes are readily paid, and perfect order has been maintained." What a happy land in which to live South Africa would be if, instead of the present god of colour prejudice, we had some such confidence as is reposed in the blacks by the British authorities in East Africa and elsewhere. The naughty white piccaninnies who always insult inoffensive black passers-by would be taught that the Native is a useful neighbour whose strong right arm may be depended upon in times of trouble, instead of being taught, as they are taught in Transvaal, that every man Jack of them is a black peril monster who must not only be discriminated against, but who must be indiscriminately insulted and repressed. The following dispatch, published in the `Daily Chronicle', illustrates the confidence of the British authorities in East Africa towards the blacks: -- == East African Battle won by Native "Non-Com". About the end of September the Germans advanced 600 strong, with six machine guns, from the Vanga side. They were held at Margerini on September 25 by Captain Wavel's Arab Company, and some King's African Rifles under Captain Stoner arrived from Jubaland on the 27th, none too soon to reinforce Captain Wavel, the enemy in the meanwhile having become very aggressive. The German plan of attack was to destroy the Salisbury bridge, which connects Mombasa island with the mainland, thus securing one of the most important strategical positions in East Africa. The "Koenigsberg" did not arrive, perhaps because of the nearness of British warships, and the little British force of 300 men dislocated the land operations of the enemy. "C" Company held off the Germans until October 2, when they were reinforced by Indian troops. The Jind Infantry behaved particularly well at Gazi, where they had to face a very heavy fire from the six machine guns of the enemy. The King's African Rifles deserve special mention. Major Hawthorn, who was in command, and all the European officers, were wounded early in the engagement, thus leaving the little force leaderless. Colour-Sergeant Sumani quietly took charge, and led on his men as if nothing had happened. He gave the order to charge, and the enemy broke and fled. This incident has not yet appeared in the bald official announcements, but it is hoped the splendid conduct of the native colour sergeant will receive recognition.* -- * Sergeant Sumani has since been decorated with the D.S.O. -- ==
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