Besides the tribes whose home is in the Transvaal considerable numbers of natives, chiefly members of east coast tribes, Cape Kaffirs and Zulus, go to the Witwatersrand to work in the gold and other mines.
This feeling was, however, changed by what Sir George (and many of the Dutch in Natal also) thought a wilful and unjustifiable attack (December 1840) on a tribe of Kaffirs on the southern, or Cape Colony, frontier by a commando under Andries Pretorius, which set out, nominally, to recover stolen cattle.
Exemption from the scope of these provisions may be granted by the governor-general and under such exemption a few Kaffirs are on the roll of electors.
For a time the Kaffirs accepted quietly the new order of things.
The Portuguese further agreed to facilitate the recruitment of natives in their territory for work in the Rand mines, and in consequence Kaffirs were obtained in sufficient numbers to replace the Chinese coolies as they were repatriated.
In 1811 it was deemed necessary to expel the Kaffirs from the Zuurveld, and the British headquarters in that campaign became the site of Graham's Town.
Among the Ama-Xosa section of Kaffirs they appear to have been quite unknown.
After some reverses the Kaffirs were signally defeated on the 7th of June by General Somerset on the Gwangu, a few miles from Fort Peddie.
From the fruit the Kaffirs make an alcoholic drink, Tialva, and the negroes one known as Merisa.
This depression was in considerable measure due to, and was largely aggravated by, the comparative inactivity of the Rand mines, and that inactivity was due in turn to the insufficiency of native labour - Kaffirs being employed to do all the unskilled work on the mines.