Nqwiliso cedes land to Cape Government

Early photograph of the mouth of the Umzimvubu Image source

Wednesday, 17 July 1878

Nqwiliso, tribal chief of Western Pondoland and eldest son of Ndamase, signed a treaty with H.G. Elliott in which he ceded sovereign rights and shipping in the Umzimvubu River mouth to the Cape government - a step his father had refused to do during his lifetime. In return Nqwiliso was recognised as independent ruler and he and his people were promised protection. On 30 September 1878 he also sold 10 000 acres of land at Umzimvubu River mouth. Two British officers, Thesiger and Sullivan, raised the British flag, and gave their names to the two mountains on either side of Umzimvubu River mouth, later to be known as Port St Johns.

Port St Johns was formally annexed to the Cape Colony in 1884, governed as a White enclave, not as part of the Transkeian territories. However, in 1976 the SA government handed Port St Johns to Paramount Chief K.D. Matanzima in order to get him to agree to Transkei 'independence'.

• Kruger, D.W. (ed)(1972). Dictionary of South African Biography, Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council, v. 3, p. 661.
• Portstjohns,(2006), ‘Accommodation South Africa: Port St Johns Transkei’ from Port St Johns History,[Online], available at www.portstjohns.org.za [Accessed: 11 July 2013]

Last updated : 24-Nov-2017

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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