“The 1860’s saw the British embark on serious mineral exploitation. They started diamond mining in Griqualand West. Gold mining began in Witwatersland in 1886.
Southern African gold had been exported for thousands of years to the Arab Peninsula and the Persian Gulf, but it had never been exploited on a massive scale. Now it was to be the focus of reckless European speculators and the investment houses of the world.
In 1889, Cecil Rhodes, already hugely wealthy from diamond mining, set his ambitions north of the Limpopo and tricked Lobengula, the King of the Ndebele into handing over his land. Ndebele thought he was granting Rhodes a limited mining concession.
In August 1889 the King wrote to Queen Victoria to complain:
“The white people are troubling me much about gold. If the queen hears that I have given away the whole country it is not so.”
“I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race”
“I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race…:; Read more