Battle of Viervoet (Basotho-British war)

222

King Moshoeshoe

Monday, 30 June 1851

In 1851, the British controlled the area between the Orange and Vaal Rivers (the Orange River Sovereignty). Due to border disputes with the Basotho the British eventually proclaimed the Warden line (after Major Warden).

This line divided territory between British territory and the Basotho under Moshoeshoe, and stretched from Cornetspruit and the Orange River through Vechtkop to Jammerbergdrift on the Caledon.

The Warden line caused much resentment, as the fertile Caledon River Valley served as a vital area in terms of agriculture for both the British and the Basotho.

This border line was therefore not acceptable to Moshoeshoe, and hostility followed, which led to conflict between the Basotho and the British, who were defeated by Moshoeshoe at the battle of Viervoet in 1851.

References:
• Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau.
• Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds) (1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 2, p. 212.
• Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds) (1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v.8, p. 369.

Last updated : 06-Oct-2011

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

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