The Voortrekkers
The First Occupation of Port Natal (Durban) by the English
The British Arrive in Durban
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The British Arrive

voortrekkersThere had been a change of British Governor in the Cape - Sir Benjamin D'Urban had been replaced by Sir George Napier who was concerned about the treatment of the Africans by the Voortrekkers. Major Samuel Charters was dispatched to Durban with the job of denying the Voortrekkers stores that arrived for them. The photograph is of shacks typically used by the early Durban settlers.

After several chilly confrontations with Pretorius, Captain Henry Jervis who was more placatory and wished to mediate between Dingane and the Voortrekkers replaced Charters. Dingane agreed to pay 19,000 cattle in reparations to the Voortrekkers but was loathe to part with a single one.

The Voortrekkers Leave Durban

The British had no intention of annexing the whole of Natal and with the prevailing views in Whitehall of limiting British colonialism, the British withdrew from the fort in December 1839.

This was taken to be the final withdrawal and the Voortrekkers believed that their republic was now a matter of fact. They reoccupied Durban and established Pietermaritzburg as the capital, built a volksraad (people's hall/Parliament) on the site of the present City Hall and recommenced bickering.

Next . . . the Voortrekkers declare their Natalia Republiek