On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X
This article examines black resistance in the Free State during the Anglo- Boer War. The previously existing patriarchal relationship between the Boers and their black subjects was disrupted by the chaos of war. At the same time, the rapid spread of Ethiopianism, in the shape of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, offered black people a model of self-reliance and dignity, and the formation of armed criminal gangs served as an exercise in solidarity. Employment by the British army promoted disloyalty to the Boer cause, a situation that was aggravated by the arming of blacks. The formation of the Bergh Scouts, a Winburg-based black unit under white officers, which was attached to the British army, led to allegations of murder, often accompanied by savagery. Nineteen encounters of this nature are chronicled and contextualisd and the enterprise of resistance evaluated.
Keywords : Anglo-Boer War; black resistance; Free State; Winburg district; Ethiopianism; African Methodist Episcopal Church; armed gangs; Klaasbende; Bergh's Scouts.